Finding Joy in Desperate Days

FMy eyes were still closed, but in this morning’s pre-dawn hours, as wakefulness was nudging me, I started lifting thanks. I’m thankful that God is giving me the grace to want to get out of bed, with the strength and desire to face the battle again. So many days last year, I didn’t want to open my eyes in the morning. I didn’t want to believe the new reality. I didn’t want to face another painful day of our journey.

Like that day in early March . . .

March 05, 2018, P.M. Journal Entry: Another day that ended in exhaustion and with wondering how I had seemingly accomplished so little while working non-stop.

The theme of exhaustion, non-stop labor, and depletion runs through much of last year’s daily entries.

But these days of desperation keep me clinging to God. And there is a tangible connection between clinging to God and real stability. In the “clinging” there is the aspect of making God my refuge—and there, in Him, is where fullness of joy is found. That joy then becomes the strength I so desperately need to carry on with the daily assignments. The joy He provides gives me the courage to engage in the battle again.

All glory to God for providing everything we need when we cling to Him alone for our strength.

The daily care-giving responsibilities that were so overwhelming the first year have settled into a fairly predictable routine. And that routine, although hard and often times lonely, is a sweet grace. There is something comforting in routine, even difficult routines, because you tend to know what’s ahead of you. And the unknown is what is hard.

We’ve crossed the river that held so many unknowns and have been actually living in the land of foreign territory for more than seventeen months now. There are still huge unknowns out there, but isn’t it the same for you? We all live in the land of unknowns—that is why it is imperative to cling to the One who does know. He knows it all.

What does it look like to “cling” to God?

I think it looks like David, who knew that God was his only protection.

I think it looks like the devotion of Anna as she worshiped and waited expectantly for God to bring redemption to Israel (and her reward was seeing the answer arrive in the face of baby Jesus).

I think it looks a lot like Mary, who sat at Jesus’ feet to soak up all He had to say.

I think it looks like Paul and Silas, who, after being abused and beaten, used their time in prison to pray and sing praises to God.

I think it looks a lot like the woman who grabbed the hem of Jesus’ robe, because He was her only hope.

All of these were clinging to God.

You don’t know when that phone call may come, when the loved one will be taken unexpectedly, or when that doctor’s announcement will usher you into the “new” normal. The unknown is out there but crossing the raging river, while clinging to God, gives you the opportunity to be rescued by Him. Clinging to Him while you feel hopeless and alone, will allow you to see Him remain faithful to His good character, and that provides faith-deepening strength, and yes, even joy while in foreign territory.

And that, my dear readers, is the secret of true, lasting joy: Clinging to Him.

“But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works” (Psalm 73:28).
“You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever” (Psalm 16:11).

Are you clinging to God right now? What does that look like?

Dear Friends, your prayers are a tangible means of God’s grace in our lives. If you are new to the blog, and unaware of what we’re walking through and how we need your prayers, I hope you’ll read this post from the archives. Even though I’m unable to respond to your comments, I do read every one. For those who share prayer needs, I lift those to the Father and am so grateful to be entrusted with your prayer request. I love to hear from you, so please continue to leave your comments knowing that they matter!T

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