Monday, February 5, 2018

Finding Joy

I spent yesterday afternoon with my parents and siblings. We hadn't all been together in around two years. My siblings and I had a few words with each other - but it was because we love each other and needed to iron some things out. It was actually kind of fun to have a spirited discussion. I think we upset Daddy a bit because he doesn't like to see us argue - but we had to work it out. And we did. So it was good.

Life has handed all of us some pretty big blows. Now on top of all the different things we are each dealing with, Mom is going to a nursing home. She is a handful. The bruises are from the last fall she took when she passed out - but it's not as bad as it looks - she's on blood thinners. Anyway, it's time to get her more help. Tuesday she'll be moving into a very nice facility. It's an emotional time for all of us, but we do know it's best for her and for Daddy.

As I embraced my sobbing Daddy yesterday, I thought where's the joy in this? It's so difficult to see mama being taken over by dementia and then to see Daddy's grief. Mama hasn't been herself for at least 5 years now. For me, it's a grief similar to the one I have with my son. He's still here, mama is still physically here - but we grieve over the version of them we miss. This living grief can eat away at you, can't it? It's difficult because you still see the person - but the person they were no longer exists.

This morning as I was doing my devotions, I stopped on Psalm 119:143. The NLT translates it this way: As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in Your commands. I began to think about that verse for a while. David understood pressure and stress whether he wrote this particular passage while he was king - or while he was still running from Saul. He understood. But he also understood that no matter how the pressure and stress mounted, he could find joy in the word of God. And we can too.

No matter what we are facing, the word of God can speak into the situation. Even if the situation itself doesn't change - we can change in the situation.What do you need today? Peace? Joy? Wisdom? Hope? D - all of the above? I promise you can find what you need in the word of God. In Psalm 42 and 43, David said Why am I so discouraged? Why so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again - my savior and my God!

Lots of things attack our minds and souls - discouragement, hopelessness, despair, sadness, depression, oppression.... need I go on? Oh - I could! There's a huge list of emotional stuff that chips away at our spirit, our heart, our soul. But we can always find joy in His word. We can always find a word in due season. There's one for D-all of the above!

It's amazing how we can be distraught, discouraged and in despair (I speak for myself here!) and one verse, a simple meditation can be the spiritual medication for the moment. Just one word from Him can lighten the load and get us through. If we will let it - His word brings healing, strength, hope, etc. Whatever we need - He's got it. No matter how deep we have to dig down to make it through one more day - He's got it - and He's got us.

Today, I'm going to shift my focus from the stress and pressure - and to His word.  I will put a sticky note up on my computer with my verses for the day - and when I feel overwhelmed - I'll read them, absorb them. My meditation will be on His word today - His faithfulness. His peace. I will chase His word down today and let it carry me, still me, speak to me and bring comfort and peace. And I will trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?

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