Monday, September 16, 2013

Nehemiah 8:10 “Then he said to them, ‘Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’”

This passage was part of the readings in church yesterday.  When we came to this verse in the reading my heart nearly jumped from my chest!  The joy of the Lord is my strength...it is indeed.  When I was young and would sing the song with these words in it I always thought it meant as I grew stronger so would my joy in the Lord.  When I thought about this statement again recently I realized it is two sided.  My joy in the Lord is my strength and the Lord’s joy in me is my strength.  Both of these things feed me when I am enduring trials and temptation.  I cling to the Lord and he strengthens me.  I also cling to the faith that as I endure the Lord delights in me.  There are other wonderful verses in this simple song to the Lord that come to my mind occasionally and each of them causes me to pause and ponder the true meaning behind the words.  Today we keep the words of Ezra in our hearts; we go our way, eat and drink, sharing with others and rejoicing in this holy day of the Lord for the joy of the Lord is our strength!

Lord,
Thank you for joy and strength, love and guidance.  Fill our hearts with your joy and joy for you as we go into another day of unknown blessings from you.  Amen.