Covid19 has brought many to their knees. Maybe you’re reading this and feeling the weight of this pandemic. You’re longing for a warm hug and yearning to be close to loved ones.You’re wondering if you’ll make it. You’re questioning if life will ever be the same. Dear friend, I’d like to offer some very encouraging news—
God is able to mend the brokenplaces and restoreyoursoul!
I open the door. You are already bounding to the door with a wagging tail, flashing teeth, and four prancing paws. Your healing power dissolves the most difficult day from memory. A cold nose and warm kisses trigger a child’s laughter from my heart. I am a better human for having you in my life.
— Joan Noëldechen
Recommend reading: A Tail Wagging Greeting! [Inspiring short story from: Pawz & Pray, Finding Joy in the Journey with God, Family, and Furry Friends! 130 Inspiring Stories and Devotions for Dog Lovers.]
Are you happy? I mean deep inside where no one else sees. If not, you are not alone. We’re all running and chasing after happiness. Sometimes we catch up to her and enjoy her sweetness. Other times, she seems a million miles away and we’re left feeling abandoned and discouraged. There are also times she seems so close we can see her face, and yet each time we grab hold of her hand she slips away. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could find her, hold on, and never be separated from her? Is this wishful thinking?
“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Neh.8:10
JOY! What a powerful word! We seek it with all our heart, and we would do most anything to find it!
But how do we get it? How do we experience a cheerful heart in daily life?
The simplest way is obviously to do everything in our power to have life go well for us, to experience sunny days and all good things. But we all know that’s not possible, at least not every single day. There are many things that are simply out of our control. And so we must dig deeper for the source of unending joy. And mostly, we must choose it daily!
All too often we depend on our circumstances to make us happy. However, JOY based on circumstances alone is like being on a roller coaster ride . . .
One day UP, one day DOWN, up, down, up, down… ever changing, uncertain, it drains our energy and makes us weak.
However, JOY based on the LORD ( a confident trust in His Word, His promises, and His nature) is a firm foundation for our lives! For while we travel up and down along life’s journey, we remain stable, strong, unshakable, and full of joy and peace.
Take heart dear friend! Joy is not hidden from you. It’s as close as Jesus is to you. And He is right beside you. Jesus is your friend. He loves you, and wants to impart His joy you you. Psalm 16:11 tells us that in His presence is fullness of joy!
Now, look up. Go about your day with eyes fixed on Jesus. Lean on Him. Talk to Him. Meditate on His Word. Sing His praise. Draw your hope from Him. Believe that He loves you, is walking beside you, and working ALL things for your good. Let Him be your strength. He won’t fail you.
Help me not to rely on my feelings today, but on you! Steady my soul. Help me to become more aware of your presence with me. And mostly, help me to experience your peace and joy. Amen