I was brushing my teeth yesterday morning, just about to walk out the door to go to Church when I noticed that my little plant in my kitchen had a brand new leaf growing. It is very tiny and I got really excited, so I hollered for Jacob to come quick to the kitchen, (he was already getting ready to walk out the door) when he came in the kitchen I pointed out my the new leaf in a very high pitched excited voice. He stared at me dumbfounded for a few seconds, then replies with a grin, “You crack me up.” Then proceeded to leave the kitchen. Two things that you need to know for this story to make sense:
1) If you hang around me for any length of time, you will find that it’s the little things that makes me happy. I enjoy them, they get me excited, and thus using a girly high pitched voice that I don’t use very often. (There may even be some jumping up and down and clapping going on.)
2) I can’t seem to grow anything other than rose bushes, so the fact that I have a house plant growing a new leaf just really makes me feel elated. (All of my past plants have died. I’m horrible at keeping them alive)
Our verse today is Psalm 43: “Then I will go to the altar of God, To God my exceeding joy; And upon the lyre I shall praise You, O God, my God.”
My exceeding joy. My footnotes say that exceeding joy is literally “gladness of my joy”. We can take joy in lots of things: our family, children, husbands, wives, friends, jobs(sometimes, lol). Or maybe things that we do that bring us joy. For me it would reading, writing, singing, cake decorating, or any crafty thing. Or as I shown in my goofy story, the little things of life.
It’s easy in the good times of life to have joy and to be happy. When everything in life is great. But when things get hard, when life throws obstacles at us from all sides, it’s easy to start to lose our joy. To let our circumstances take our joy from us and before we realize it, we become depressed.
When Jacob went to Iraq to serve his tour, he was gone for a total of 22 months. Talk about a hard and difficult time for me. I had to raise our 1 and 1/2-year-old son (at the time) by myself. It was hard, it was difficult, I missed my husband like crazy. I went from stages of worrying about him, missing him, to trying to be brave around everyone. But even in those hard times, I never lost my joy and peace. I had so many people tell me, “wow, you seem to be holding up great.” And the only answer that I could give them was that God was carrying me through. He was my peace, my joy.
It’s one thing to have joy from the things that we do, or the things that we have. But in the end, when things get hard, that type of joy is not going sustain us. Our joy should come from God. He should be our joy, because He is the source of joy. True joy, the joy that comes from Him is something they can’t be taken from us, it doesn’t run out when we get down and out. It strengthens us. It carries us.
So next time you find yourself getting a little down, remember that God is your joy! Let Him carry you.