57 Weeks Past the Cross – Strength
By Terrie C
Today I noticed myself asking God for (physical) strength. The repetitiveness of the request struck me like a bell. I’ve been requesting it daily for six years, and have been thanking the Almighty at the end of each day; because He grants that strength. I stopped mid-sentence, though, when the Scripture that says the joy of Adonai is our strength flittered through my mind. The Word of our God is mega-deep, but it’s also right there in plain sight, isn’t it? His joy is my strength. Simple words, profound “AHA!” moment for me! Even though my gratitude has been genuine at the end of each day, I still found myself bemoaning my condition. Pain can shred a person like cheddar on a grater, can’t it? In has been such a struggle to find peace with my pain, I hadn’t even given joy a thought!
My Faithful Redeemer, YHVH, has been granting my request and gives me the exact amount of footsteps I need to get through my days, but I have been cheating myself out of His joy! I saw this morning that in doing so, my dis-ability remained larger than my level of joy. Had I been requesting joy instead of strength, both would have been mine! I adjusted my request accordingly this morning, and have been seeking His joy instead of strength for me.
One thing I have learned here on this side of the cross is that I, indeed, play an active role in my relationship with God. He isn’t going to wrap me in a magic cloak of joy. It’s on me to receive it. It’s on you to receive yours, too. If life is finding you less than joyful these days, maybe we can both practice some things that will enable us to receive the Joy of The Almighty. In it, there is strength! We can never forget, though, that nothing is granted us if we have not repented from our willful sin. That’s where we begin. Then, we petition God for joy.
Since we are requesting joy, it’s on us to be watching for it and ready to receive it. I’ve decided to repent from saying I am in pain this week. I don’t want to miss my joy because I’m talking louder than it! What you have to repent from saying is probably different, but the idea is the same. I’m thinking that doing things we en(joy) keep us receptive to His Joy, as well. If we en(joy) certain music, let’s play it! If we en(joy) painting, or country-side drives, we must rearrange our schedule to allow it. Life’s too short not to! And life’s too long without joy.
Truly, I hope that this post doesn’t apply to you, and that your joy overflows everyday! But if you nodded your head when I brought up the cheese grater, maybe like me, something has been wearing you down. Maybe like me, you have been seeking the wrong thing in prayer. Maybe we both missed the simple verse that tells us where our strength lives… in the Joy of God. We can know it’s true because it’s Scripture. I’m so thankful that it’s never too late to learn something new!
Have a joyful day! ~Terrie C