There’s not a lot of joy around the house this week. Circumstances of life have elevated the tension levels. Everyone is struggling to respond to one another with love and grace, and my own sinful responses of impatience and frustration often set the tone for the way the children react to the stress. I know that I should be joyful, but I can’t (or maybe it’s just easier to wallow in self-pity). In the words of just about every person we pass at the grocery store—I “have my hands full”.
The problem is that I am trying to take care of everything in my own strength when I don’t actually have any strength of my own. None of us do. I grew up singing it in “Jesus Loves Me”…
“I am weak, but He is strong!”
Any strength I appear to display comes only from the grace of God in my life. The joy of the Lord is my strength. (Neh. 8:10)
“The fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olives fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.” (Hab 3:17-19)
I even wrote it on my window earlier this week. “Rejoice in the Lord always…”
My happiness is not dependent on my circumstances. I can have joy and strength in all things because I have Jesus. He has rescued me from my own prideful striving and replaced it with His own perfect strength.
As I sit here writing this, soaking in God’s promises, I feel stronger and more joyful already. We have been reading Psalm 118 often this week, trying to “let the word of Christ dwell in us richly”.
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever! The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.”