It was a heavy week of fatigue and pain, after a long summer of the same. Going out for two more tests, even though they were so minimal, felt like more than I could bear. The pain mounted on the day in between the two, and I thought I might never get up again.
But into that heaviness, a memory surfaced of a moment from within the day before. And joy began to swirl in my heart. How could that small moment, barely five minutes in length, with nothing particularly “spiritual” about it, bring to me such joy?
I was sitting in the wheelchair, close to the entrance of the Medical Center, while my husband went to get the car. The sunshine was sparkling on the grasses and landscaping around me. As an elderly woman came out the same door and waited for her ride also, I suddenly felt a longing to speak through my masked face to her masked face.
“Oh, that sunshine feels so good, doesn’t it?” I gushed forth.
“Yes, it feels so, so good!” she answered me. “It was so cold inside there!”
As I answered, “Yes, it was cold in my house this morning! And this feels so good!” we both just paused, basking in the beauty of the moment. Then my husband drove up, and helped me get into our car as I spoke one last greeting of “Have a nice day!” to her.
That was it. Just a five minute or less encounter, but one that is still lingering in my heart, days afterward. I had another test two days later in that same building, but there was no person to wait outside with me this time, no chance encounter of joy spilling over. But what if there is something more?
What if the joy we share -a simple moment of sunshine -a small gift of invitation -a beauty beckoning to us overflows to bigger moments? My heart is lightened for a time and I convey a smile to another, your heart is lightened for a time and you convey your smile to another and our multiplied joy is spread. Into a world that says hatred bitterness and judgement is all, fear and anger and fighting is what our flesh clings to as the way to bring about change. But what if the joy we share is the true way to change? Even in a world where the enemy has tried to mask our smiles true beauty cannot be masked when we speak aloud our joy. --bg
and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.Isaiah 61:3 NIV
What if we chose to see through God’s eyes and listen through ears from His Spirit? We are not held prisoners by the enemy’s yoke of judgement. NO, we are held by the Spirit’s gift of freedom in these places of our dwelling. We are gifted with the love of Christ even in our hardest of days. And HE has given the true weapons to fight against the enemy’s hatred.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ2 Corinthias 10:3-5 NIV
He has given us a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, and whenever we speak aloud that joy, something is broken in the enemy’s cloaking of despair.
Will you join me this week as we keep our eyes open for His garments of praise?
I would love to pray with you today.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for coming to this earth to win for us the battle! We praise YOU here today, because we have seen You fight for us, when we have had no strength of our own. We have watched the light of Your love shine upon us in the darkest of days, and we have felt Your joy pouring over our hearts in the midst of despair. Will You help us to stand firm in this battle that is being waged over our world now? Will You remind us that our true weapons are spiritual and not fleshly? And will You show us how the enemy is defeated every time we lift up our praises to You? We are filled with that praise now, as we lift our voices to speak aloud YOUR gifts of beauty around us.
In Your name we pray,