Some thoughts. We lost my Dad on 1 January of this year. It hits me in sharp moments, out of the blue. Like a sneak attack. 💔
There’s been lots of joy this year as well. Batman’s first year of retirement! 🥰❤️🎉🎉👏🏻👏🏻 First full year of SEVEN grandchildren!! 😍🤗 And more good and more hard, and unexpected things besides.
You know, life is like that. It’s not all one thing, right? It’s not just one emotion. it’s processes and pain, and joy and excitement, hope and forgiveness.
I’ve seen in those I love, and experienced myself, grief like I never expected. I’ve seen and experienced wonderful moments of love, and joy, faith and hope right in the middle of it all. Thank God for the WONDER and the GOOD right in the middle of it all, even in the pain.
God is SO faithful, and I do not say that lightly. He really, truly is. The good thing about being in your 50s and having been walking with Jesus for almost 29 years is you learn a lot, hopefully! (though I had a L-O-N-G way to go, and STILL do have a long way to go! 😂😂). But, you do, you learn that nothing but Jesus is permanent. Everything else is learning and moving and loving and living and dying and beginning, and ending and enduring and outlasting, and forgiving and making new ways, it’s a LOT of moving pieces. And the Lord is with us through it all. Making us able. Helping us do the right thing. To have His heart. To believe in and hope for the best, once more again. To be flexible. To give, because it’s right. To surrender. To take that first step or maybe make that first move. To get up and go again. To savor the good today, and shake off the dust from the bad yesterday. And if today is bad, you can shake it off, too, and tomorrow, walk in the new. Jesus has already gone ahead of You, and He has provision for you there! And He’s right here with you in the now, to help you in the going.
We don’t wait to be happy, (and yes, I agree, happiness and joy are different, but that’s for another post!) we choose the happy on the way and in the process, or else we will never be happy. Sometimes we forget this, and that’s ok, as long as we stick with Jesus and have a few Godly, Jesus loving people around us, to just remind us by how they live, that we get to choose. Happy is possible. On the way.
And all of that is to say today I thought about Nehemiah 8:10 “…the Joy of the Lord is your Strength”, and Y’all it’s no joke. I wanted to boil it down for you, but of course I couldn’t quite get there. (It’s SO BIG, Y’all!! 🤗) Trust me, this IS the short version! 😂 But, the full verse 10 is this —> “Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: NEITHER BE YE SORRY; for the JOY of the Lord IS YOUR STRENGTH.”
Really you need verses 9-11 to really appreciate it…but His joy, is our STRENGTH…joy is that everlasting, enduring quality we are able to have through our confidence in Him, His character, His presence, His love for us, in spite of temporary conditions, (and everything on this side of Heaven is temporary).
He makes us able to choose joy, and that will give us great strength, like a fortress for us, that makes us untouchable, where it really counts, in our spirit.
To ‘be not sorry’, was the priests urging the people not to grieve so much that they wore grooves into their face, they had grieved, and that was good and necessary, but don’t stay there. Choose to celebrate, to eat the best, drink the sweet, send good things to those who weren’t established and therefore didn’t have the same wherewithal, because ‘this day is holy to the Lord.’
And so the people did. Because they understood they were God’s people and He loved them, and He had a Good way for them to live. And now that they knew this, (they had just learned how badly they had broken God’s laws their entire lives) they would now be learning how to live a NEW way, (well, new to them), walking with Him. And that was something to celebrate! Not grieve for the wrong they had done, so much so that they couldn’t enjoy the newness of life WITH Him.
We sometimes have to grieve, then we let it go. Then we celebrate. The life that’s still here. That’s new every day. All the time. A gift. And share. Share with those that aren’t established in this good news. The JOY of the Lord is your STRENGTH.
I think I’d like us to talk about the difference between happiness and joy in a future exploration! Percolating!
We really appreciate y’all coming by to visit! We always hope to have something entertaining, thought provoking, or uplifting for you here!
Peace and love, Y’all! Peace and love!