Stuff’s going around. I mean sickness. People are dropping like flies around here. How about where you live?
We fellowship in a very small church. There are 12 people in it, including children. This might seem odd to most readers, but it’s been beautiful for us. I can go into the details of how and why and what in the world?! another day. For today, let’s just say that when numbers are down from sickness, it’s tough to “have church.”
That also means that when sickness is spreading around our church, EVERYONE knows and EVERYONE is praying. I love the closeness of it. But, I said wasn’t going to elaborate on church!
Anyhooways, I’ve had joy on the brain.
Why? It’s winter! It’s dreary and cold!
Why? Because even in the midst of sickness, loved ones passing, worries about our friends, concerns about our sons’ teeth and habits and sleep schedules and futures and safety and ___ and ___ etc etc, God has been giving us peace through his promises:
I will be filled with joy because of you. Psalm 9:2a
The joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10b
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
A couple of those are probably repeat verses from recent Saturday history. My feeling? That only proves that God is teaching me something.
Lift your head, child, and put your eyes on me. See? I’m smiling as I help you through.
If you look at it logically, the above verses say that joy is strength and Christ is strength. Therefore Christ is joy.
joy = strength = Christ, who is in my heart at all times
So even when things aren’t perfectly lovely, joy and strength are perfectly available. I’m sorry that sounded trite. I’m full of peanut butter cookies and feeling all warm and gooey.
Whatever you may be dealing with, I hope you have the joy and strength of Christ in your heart. And peanut butter cookies in your belly.
(photo credit for the fireworks goes to my Sweet Babbooski)