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.’”
The people were weeping because they had just heard and understood the law as interpreted by the priest. I can understand this. They likely felt a heaviness on their hearts like I sometimes do when I think of how I have misinterpreted something.
Lately I have had a familiar hymn about the joy of the Lord running through my mind. I have thought more about the words and how I interpreted them when I was growing up and how I see them now.
Is the joy of the Lord his joy in me or my joy in him? Does the thought of making him rejoice in me give me strength? Absolutely! Does rejoicing in him give me strength to do as he asks? Indeed!
There are two sides to the quote “the joy of the Lord is my strength” but whichever side I focus on it remains that I am strengthened by joy – his joy in me and my joy in him.
Go forth and celebrate in strength and joy!
Your joy is my strength. When I am weak I feel your love pouring into me and I am renewed. I feel the joy you have in me and I rejoice in you. Thank you for your everlasting love and peace, thank you for joy. Help me share these gifts with those people I see today. Amen.