David and I absolutely love our church family. We have landed at a place that has loved us into more wholeness than we’ve ever known. Maybe that’s also because we are older and wiser and realize the importance of working at wholeness. Also, because God loves us so much He longs to help us find restoration.
So, recently, I was invited to be one of the Vineyard Writers who was invited to write for our first ever Vineyard Advent Blog. I still get giddy, at times, realizing that David and I are part of this Tribe.
I am known, at our Vineyard, for a variety of things and I just get great joy being viewed as a writer. When I began this blog in 2012, that was the farthest thing from my mind. I wrote because I wanted to find healing. Now, almost four years later, I have found healing, finding more as the years move on and am finding a few kicks and giggles from being “known” as a writer!
If you want to read the posts from my other writer friends, go to: http://thevineyardadvent.com. These ladies are incredible writers and friends!
Here’s my post on CHOOSING JOY!
The Dictionary defines JOY as: “the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; the expression or display of glad feeling.”
That’s not exactly how I define Joy. That sounds temporal. Fleeting. Something based on circumstances or an event. For me, Joy is a place down deep in my spirit. It is like a river. A river doesn’t relocate. Neither does my internal River of Joy. However, I find in order to access it, I have to go find it. I have to choose Joy, in the moment. My river of joy is still there, way down deep in my spirit but in the busyness of life – I need to take a moment and go there.
A river can change over time, but it doesn’t relocate. The more the water rushes through it; it overflows its banks. If you look at a river in a canyon, it can start small but then become raging, over time. The power of the water can move through, or over, obstacles and create new paths that were not there before.
What if I/we allowed the Joy of the Lord to be that sort of powerful force in our day to day lives? The Joy of the Lord. The Lord, the One who endured the Cross. Hebrews 12:2: “…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the Cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
We are HIS Joy! And, in return, I CHOOSE Joy! I exhale frustration, chaos, busyness and inconvenience and exchange them for Joy. I choose Jesus and all that He is. I choose His Peace, the Joy of Who He is, I choose to access the Joy of the Kingdom and bring those tangible truths into my mess.
These are powerful choices.
The power of the Joy of the Lord will overflow the banks of our self-contained lives. The power of the Joy of the Lord will change the landscape of our obstacles. It can flow over them, or bore a hole right through them! The Joy of the Lord IS our strength in this life of ours.
Nehemiah 8:10 says, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
This verse also says to share with those who have nothing prepared. Let’s share our JOY with those who may be in a place of ___ (fill in the blank). For, this day is holy to our Lord, no matter what! So, do not grieve whatever is going on and access your River of Joy, for the Joy of the Lord IS our strength!