Ultimate Joy

Archive for September 2010

It was the day before Thanksgiving.  Americans, busy preparing for the holiday, were focused on their celebrations – the enthusiasm of family joy deliciously swirled with turkey, cranberries and pumpkin pie with time set aside for naming the year’s blessings worthy of thanks. 

But on that Wednesday, three years ago, I lost my job. I can still remember the stark futility, as if it were yesterday…walking alone out of my office knowing I was never coming back, heading into the bleak cold, crisp afternoon.  Closing the door on what was, and also what might have been. Even though the layoff wasn’t a surprise, I still found myself in that uncomfortable dance between the excitement of moving forward and the loss of comfortable employment.  Dipping and twirling between thoughts of failure and confusion mingled with those of progress and hope.  Knowing the very next day America would pause to give thanks heightened the loneliness and melancholy.

Three years later, I’m still trying to conquer that dance.  Sometimes I feel like I’m caught between the life that is and the life I crave, with no clear roadmap on how to get from where I am to where I desperately want to be.  Life is like that, dancing between sadness mixed with celebration, a quick step between dejection and success.

Following my dance partner, my God, is what gets me through the complicated steps between the bitter and the rewarding.  God embraces me, washes me and restores me. When I come to Jesus with this brokenness, emptiness and helplessness, I’m buoyed by His promise that He is with me, that He will never leave me; He always there.

Through this current wilderness walk when nothing I do seems good enough, I have discovered God’s grace in a new and exceptional way.  Jesus Christ gives me the strength to do what I can not do, not just once, but over and over again.  He is with me when I can not continue.  He gives me grace when I stumble.  He provides more grace when my burdens increase and sends me more strength when I stumble.

Despite life not being what I want it to be, the joy of His presence overshadows my disappointment. I can trust that His healing touch will sustain me and lead me to be the person He wants me to be.  Relying on His strength alone, I can do whatever God wants me to do.

Lord, help me see the story You’re writing for me. Help me to forge ahead, steadfast, active. Give me joy in the journey and peace too. Even when I’m afraid to step out in faith, I will hold Your hand. Amen.

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Recently, I had surgery on my knee.  Because of it, I haven’t had much time to devote to my blog and I apologize to my readers.  However, I also am praising God because of you.  Many of you sent warm wishes to speed my recovery and what a difference they made.  Thanks to all that prayed for me.

During my recovery when I wasn’t mobile, Richard and I would spend the evenings watching television.  Near the evening’s end, he’d get up and make two small cups of ice cream, one for me and one for him.  It was an extraordinary way to end the evening – the two of us enjoying one of life’s special treats.  It would warm my heart and soothe my soul to enjoy my dessert comforted by the man I love.

Late in the evening, as I snuggled down to sleep, I’d pray to God to make my recovery quick and complete.  And I’d always hear a small whisper from Him, “I am near.  Don’t doubt that I am concerned about your health and your recovery.  Let your heart be quiet with this assurance.  I care about you and I love you.  I’m with you every moment of the day – during the pain, the grueling physical therapy, the stumbling efforts to walk.  Don’t doubt my presence for a moment.”

Each day I see improvement and each day I praise God for all that he has done for me.  If you are hurting or sad, remember God’s promise in Matthew 28:20, “I am always with you.”

For every hectic day, God is your quiet rest.
For every painful experience, God is your healing touch.
For every disappointment, God is your certain hope.
For every turbulent storm, God is your calming peace.
For every hurtful action, God is your forgiving love.