I write this today hoping that you will see the joy of Jesus. My writing is not profound, nor is it something that comes easily for me. However, Jesus is profound and He is FOR us.
Not long ago, there was a day where I just could not “do it” anymore. Have you ever experienced a time where everything, and I mean everything, seems to fall apart? We walk through life thinking we can handle whatever comes our way. We can take each day one at a time. But then there is a breaking point: you realize there is nothing else you can do. You are drowning in your own storm because you are surrounded by downward pressures. Satan sees that you cannot breathe, you cannot think clearly, you cannot function as you would on any given day because you are deplete of air. His grip on you is so tight you can hardly gasp. You can hardly cry out!
This was me. As much as I fought to keep life going, I was failing. My oxygen tank had an “E” reading. I was suffocating. My joy was lower than I had ever known, and it was a war within myself to look to Jesus. That was my mistake. To fight a battle and things that I am not designed to fight on my own when Jesus holds all the answers. We have to tell that to ourselves daily, or we will cease to live as He wants us to.
He, as always, shed light into the dark storm. He filled my oxygen tank and pulled me from Satan’s grasp under the water. He helped me breathe again. Psalm 66 is all about joy. The joy that we seem to miss out on in more days than we care to admit. Verses 8-12:
“O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:
Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.
For thou, O GOD, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidest affliction upon our loins.
Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.” (KJV)
God brings us to the other side, as He did with Moses and the Israelites as they were being chased by Pharaoh. He yearns for us to be present with Him in every circumstance! We have to choose to hold onto the lifeline. To trust and obey. To not be afraid of the dark, but to choose His Joy. Every. Single. Day.
All I can think to encourage you in these uncertain and daunting days is to truly, truly take joy in the smallest moments—a warm bath, the sunrise through the windows, everything that you may take for granted in this life. Take joy in God everyday, but especially when we can see His greatest love in some of the smallest, most unnoticed moments. He wants our attention ALL of the time. When huge burdens are cast over you and you do not know how to handle it, give them to HIM as best as you know how and seek to find Christ, even in simply admiring something you have never noticed before that He has clearly given to you. Those times will help to grow us more than we realize.
– Sarah Rowland, Director of Food Services