Sunday, June 9, 2013

Another week that’s been a whirlwind of activity. We’re down to a month before my daughter’s wedding. Bridesmaids’ dress alterations, tallying RSVP's, preparing food for one wedding-related event while a couple of my boys plot on the side for a birthday celebration in the middle of everything else.

I’m so tempted to give in to the pressure. Let the anxiety roar to life inside me. But the thought occurs to me while I’m standing in the kitchen for the umpteenth hour, feet aching, mind and heart driven by the need to have things “just right,” that I dare not let the joy of this season be marred by the stress and anxiety. That the joy itself is a kind of duty. A holy duty.

The words rattle around inside my head before sinking into my heart. What an idea, that the joy is necessary somehow. That possibly, this time so full of anticipation and busyness and pending change is actually transformed by the joy.

That the whirling dervish that is my life is itself a dance of joy.

But I am not quick enough, I am not strong enough, I argue, to withstand it all. These relentless winds will eventually tear me apart. Even in the joy.

How is it I could be undone by joy? But I am. I can hardly endure it at times.

And yet, He whispers to me, the joy itself is my strength. My joy in HIM is my strength.

Breathe into me Your joy, then. Fill me with the essence of who You are; let me be dazzled by Your beauty and Your glory. Remind my heart that You are the One True Love. You are my source and my strength and my shield.

And remind me, when I am tempted to chafe and fret, that stress and worry are flies in the sweet ointment of my life, and if I leave them, they’ll spoil everything ... and I am determined not to let anything mar the joy of this time.

And Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn nor weep.” For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law.
10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
11 So the Levites quieted all the people, saying, “Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved.” 12 And all the people went their way to eat and drink, to send portions and rejoice greatly, because they understood the words that were declared to them. (Nehemiah 8, NKJV)


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