Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Return to Joy

People are losing Joy during these hard days.  They think they have lost what they had... they were living in Peace and Safety. Peace and Safety.

The stock market, the job market, everything was going great. 

Then an invisible enemy attacked.  Loss, death, pain, pestilence and fear rose up.

The lifeline so many had was severed as Churches closed.  They were cut off from what held them together.

Some tried to substitute other distractions to try to find their joy again.  The future looks bleak and bleaker. Those distractions were temporary.

This has become a time when we discover the truth about who we thought we were.  Not as strong or resilient as we imagined ourselves to be.  We despair at our weakness in the flesh.

Thinks were pretty tough when the Law was read to the people of Jerusalem and they came face to face with who they really were.  They recognized their difficulty.  Nehemiah was placed by God to encourage the People at that time. Here's what he told them:

“Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!”  Nehemiah 8:10
Now as we find things changing yet again, we need to rediscover joy.  It's there.  It's in the little things. It's in charity. It's in intention. Treat every meal, every time you sit down as if it were communion.   When you bless your food.. say Body of Christ, Blood of Christ.  This is an ancient tradition in certain parts of the world.  It may be that what we think of as communion was in fact a full meal.

The Joy of the Lord is STILL your strength.  It will be hard.. but God hasn't abandoned you.  He hasn't forgotten you.  He isn't ignoring you.  He is allowing all this to happen while keeping you under his wing.

There is a nest in a small tree in my front yard. A dove sits on it.  She has eggs she is protecting.  A few days ago we had a snow and rain storm.  She didn't leave her clutch.  She sad on it with her wings stretched out to cover and keep them from harm.

How much more does your and my father do what he does in covering you.  Yes it is hard.. but you are under the shelter of his wings.

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