But I will hope continually,
And will praise You yet more and more.
There have been a lot of trials in my life lately, some big, some small, but they are piling up at an alarming rate. I don't step out of bed wondering what will befall me today, but I am putting my feet on the floor a little slower. Last night I was cleaning up from dinner and spilled some liquid on my ceramic range top...which seeped under the knobs. No big deal, I just removed the knobs and got a wet dish cloth and proceeded to wipe it out of the hole when...bang, poof, spark, smoke! It gave me a good jolt, and I haven't been able to use it since. Minor annoyance. So on to the next chore, laundry. First load...a little water on the floor, hmm that's weird. Second load...more water, but I wasn't giving up without a fight. Third load...lots of water on the floor. OK, the washer is broken. No stove top and no washer, but it isn't all that bad, right?
Then the neighbor comes over, not happy, to tell us our rooster has been waking him up early every morning for several days (we live on a farm). So these little trials seemed to be leaking, like the washer, from the house - to the barn, and apparently were making their way down the street. It didn't stop there but I don't want to drag you through it all, so I'll stop.
What was interesting (and suspicious) is before the trials really got thick, I prayed for joy. I had prayed for joy and peace for a couple of weeks because my family was going through something very hard. Now I'm not saying God answered my prayers with trials and tribulation, I'm just saying that I prayed for joy before they started piling up.
I'm positive God doesn't do things to keep us from having joy - actually He gives us fullness of joy - but I do think we have an enemy who wants to steal, kill, and destroy it. Real joy doesn't depend on what is going on around me. It doesn't go away when the appliances break down, when people are upset with me over a rooster...or when the light bulb above my head burns out - just now! It can't be killed, stolen, or destroyed.
Joy is something that fills us even when we're going through the storms in life. It doesn't get poured into us from outside, it pours out...overflows from within. It is placed in the heart by God Himself and no one, or thing, or trial, can remove it. It's times like this God proves to me what His word says about Him is absolutely true - He is my rock, my fortress, my strong tower, shield, deliverer, strength, and my joy.
My Firm Foundation
Standing on the solid rock, though all may crumble 'round,
I will not fall from where I stand, I am on solid ground.
Storms will blow around me, and tides will rise and fall,
My eyes stay on my Master, and my heart tuned to His call.
No power can remove me, from this solid place I stand,
The One I've placed my trust in, holds all power in His hand.
At times I may grow weary, but those times He has foreseen,
He's promised not to leave me, and hold me as I lean.
He is my firm foundation, where no higher place is found,
Than the Solid Rock - Jesus, as I stand on holy ground.
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
my God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
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