I’m pleased to welcome a new voice to the blog this week. I know you will enjoy hearing from Sheryl Murray as she shares an attribute of God that has had great meaning in her life recently.
“This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10b
It has been a difficult ten months–no deaths or serious illnesses, no divorce or wayward children, no great financial or spiritual crisis–just a huge change in geography and jobs, and what feels like a winding down of our lives.
But in the midst of intense changes and a seeking and searching for the Lord’s will for us here in Lincoln, He has shown me that each day is to be treasured–one day at a time.
In the midst of the sorrowful book of Lamentations, God reassures His people that His mercies are new every morning and that He is our portion and hope (Lamentations 3:23-24). So I awaken each day to life anew. Even those days when I do not feel like getting out of bed, He patiently nudges me to just begin. Out of bed, one foot in front of the other, I ask Him to open my eyes. I start with the basics–taking a shower, getting dressed, eating breakfast. Then I move on to the necessary–washing dishes, doing laundry, grocery shopping. Some days I have something scheduled; some days I do not. That’s OK. I try to go through the open doors and trust God for the closed ones.
But God knows my weakness and in asking me to live each day He also provides the strength to do so through His joy.
Joy through my precious husband of thirty-eight years who is on his own journey of resolving disappointments and a new job. God shows me the joy of ministering to him by making him meals or cheerfully greeting him whenever he returns from work. In turn he makes me laugh with his silly jokes and stories as well as including me in his puppet ministry.
My three young red-headed grandchildren are an ever source of joy. Seeing the excitement of life through their eyes fills me with long forgotten wonder at the majesty of God’s creation, whether it be an ant, or a dandelion, or a limestone pebble. Going to the park or the zoo or just being home is a joyful adventure with them.
God has showered me with the joy of friendship, both old and new. There’s nothing like an old friend who knows you well and still loves you. They are busy with their own lives and family but have carved out pieces for me. New friends have been an unexpected gift of joy at Bible study and life group.
Yes, as Nehemiah expresses, the joy of the LORD is my strength. He knows that I am having a difficult time. He knows that often I am frustrated for things not turning out as I thought they would. He knows that I need to heal. And so He offers me joy. I accept it gladly, with a thankful heart. Indeed, it is my strength!