Its amazing that I wrote this less than a year before God changed my life. I left it as is because it shows the faithful way that God intervenes in your life with a plan that you didn't think possible. His faithful way of answering a prayer that I never prayed.....the prayer for children and grandchildren. I thought it was impossible.
I love my brothers and sisters in Africa so much. That photo speaks joy to me - Joy so boundless that it was difficult to contain.
But at times joy is difficult to muster and those feelings of dread and despair always come unannounced.
For me it typically comes in the morning or the darkness of the evening. Bad memories, regrets, disappointments, worry and reminders that I’m on the other side of midlife … alone..... with no Norman Rockwell home filled with children and grandchildren and not many wonderful memories to hang onto. The gloom and panic tend to smother me. Then comes the guilt because I am so blessed. I have food, a home, a car, my health, friends and my family. I can walk, talk, think clearly, I can freely worship God, own a Bible and have a God who adores me. I am a believer who walks daily with Jesus but….
if I’m honest … the darkness still comes.
Isaiah 53 says that Jesus was acquainted with this darkness. He was despised, rejected and a man of sorrows who suffered grief. It was in God’s plan for Jesus to struggle as we do so that he would understand our struggles. He wept, became angry, disappointed, frustrated and dreaded the suffering he would endure. Did this make Him any less of a Savior? Absolutely not. Does this struggle with darkness make me any less of a Christian? Absolutely not…it means that we live in a dark world.
If we could only see what goes on in the heavenlies – the demonic – evil spirits that surround us – every single day. The battles that are fought between God’s warring angels and the powers of darkness – every single day. These forces of evil are brought into meetings, are attached to people, thrive in environments, and have control of situtations we are in - every single day. In Ephesians 6 it says that our battle is with spirits of darkness and Satan would love nothing more than to smother us with despair - but God has a different plan..and we have spiritual weapons to use when it comes upon us – and one of those is sacrifice.
So, I for one will speak Joy.
If I feel despair, I will speak Joy.
If I feel overwhelmed, I will speak Joy.
If I feel disappointment, I will speak Joy
If I feel regret, I will speak Joy.
If I feel darkness overtaking me, I will speak Joy.
Regardless....I will speak Joy.
My prayer today is:
Father God, sometimes I’m overcome with darkness and despair and there is absolutely no reason. I know that I am blessed and I praise You for those blessings. You said in Psalm 27:6 to ‘offer sacrifices of joy’….so that shows me that You know having Joy can be difficult. To sacrifice is to give when you don’t have enough – so during those times I feel darkness - I will speak Joy as a sacrifice of my love and trust in You. I thank you for the blessings You have given me – shine through me and let others see only You.
I adore you. Amen.