Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the is your strength!” Nehemiah 8:10b NLT
The Lord is my joy.
Not my husband. Not my children. Not myself. Not my job. Not my paycheck or my husband's. Not anything or anyone on this earth.
My joy comes from my God.
This was a hard realization that I had to come to within the past few weeks. I unknowingly put my joy into everything except the Lord. I would get so upset when my husband or kids made a mistake. I would get angry when life did not go my way. I was headed in a downward spiral fast because of the fact that I was counting on people and things to provide my joy. That is impossible! Only God can provide my joy (If I choose to let him)!
I remember the moment I can to this realization.
My husband had done something (again). He was not filling my joy cup the way I thought he should, he was draining it and at this point it was bone dry. I was mad. He was mad. The kids were not happy. Even the dog kept her distance. In my mind I thought why can he not just make me happy? That is when I heard that voice that tends to whisper truth at the most perfect moment, it is called the Holy Spirit. The voice said "I am your joy, not the husband." Ugh really!? Again the voice, "The Lord is your joy." Then Nehemiah 8:10 pops in my head. It took me a few days to think this through. I spent days with my mind in rewind going over many situations where my joy was not coming from the Lord. I began to realize it was not my husbands fault that I was not joyful. It was mine. Just because I was choosing to depend on my husband to provide me with joy did not mean it was his fault for failing! My husband is human, he is going to fail me every day just as I will and do fail him daily. We are human, that is what humans do...WE FAIL!!
After the few days it took for me to come to this realization I had to stop and ask God to forgive me for being so self consumed. From that moment when aggravating situations arise and I start to let them get the best of me I hear that still small voice telling me "where is your joy." Many times I have actually said out loud my joy comes from the Lord not from this person or this situation. (Some times I need to say it more than once or twice!)
I am a work in progress. But isn't that what matters most?...That we are making progress?! We all need to be a work in progress because if we are not working on progress we are staying the same and that gets us nowhere.
Some days I long for the day I "arrive" but I know that will not happen until I am bowing at the perfect feet of my beloved Savior. Until that time comes I will be satisfied with being a work in progress. And I will know where my joy comes from...
My joy and my strength come from the Lord!