Christmas was tough. The Restore Christmas event was fabulous, but once it was over, I fell prey to self-pity over a number of subjects in my personal life. So much so, that I rebelled against being joyful during the remainder of the season. I’m just being honest here! To top it off, I think the Lord let me wallow around in it for a little while. And, while I was at it, He saw fit to reprimand me by showing me a few things about myself that He wasn’t very pleased with and how some of those things were a stench to His nostrils. You could kinda say I had a “come to Jesus” kind of meeting! I’m so glad He takes care of these things privately and His grace and mercy are enough to make things better. It’s how we grow as children of God. I suppose it's a good way to begin a new year. Wipe the slate clean!
Then, there are all of the 300+ scriptures that reference joy or rejoicing. “…who, for the joy set before him, endured the cross” could not escape my thoughts. When I realized it’s reference as Hebrews 12: 1,2. I knew God had given me a word. Not only had He prepared a word for me, but He had also been working on me with a particular phrase: Cross the line. The phrase coincides with the same scripture but I’ll save that for another time. This year, my word is not one used to motivate me to move forward per se, but to allow me to stand still and wrap my fingers around joy in every circumstance.
A few blogs ago, I wrote about the word breathe. As a Christmas goodie, my dear friend Kathy found this perfect chalkboard to remind me to breathe. I have added it to my collection of verbs placed around my house! Yes, the "she" in the opening paragraph is me.
Much needed reminders are good for my soul!
These Christmas blow-ups of Santa and such are supposed to bring joy to those whose eyes gaze upon them and pass by. Unfortunately, they have been depleted of their air and lie meaningless, messy, and unattractive on the ground. When I don’t remember to breathe in the working Spirit of the Holy, I am no different. It is only when I am filled and controlled by Him that I can declare joy (for His glory) to those whose eyes gaze my direction.
Another friend took a picture of a magazine article and posted it on Facebook! As I looked closely at the picture, I noticed the saying on the girl’s tank top. Choose joy!
I’m sure that the girl in the article was unaware that God would use her top to get my attention, or even my friend taking the picture of the article and posting it! Do you see the lengths by which God goes to get our attention? Open your eyes. Open your ears. He speaks all the time!
And as a bonus, my sweet cousin, also in ministry, posted her word for the year. You guessed it…JOY! The same as mine! I'm trusting that together we will be able to share what God is showing us about our unified word.
Choose joy! It's one small 3 letter word that can help change your whole perspective!
You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. Ps. 16:11
James 1:2-5 "Count it all joy when you fall into trials... so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."