If you’re just joining me, I hope you take the time to read the previous post where I expressed my struggle to find joy in my Christian walk. I think I left you with something like, “Being a Christian isn’t joyful, it’s hard work”.
You can read it here.
God did indeed have my attention. He knows that trials are often the engine that drive us to our knees. In my loneliness and frustration, I prayed. I’m sure it wasn’t anything eloquent or pretty. It probably went something like, “God, help me find you! I don’t want to do this anymore.”
There was no bolt of lightening or great big sign in the sky. And God didn’t take all my problems away, but He did answer that prayer…
I joined a Bible study at a large church close to our home. Those ladies will never know the life-line they threw to me, and how it literally saved my “spiritual” life. It was my first introduction to a Beth Moore Bible study. We would be studying the Old Testament tabernacle in her book, A Woman’s Heart, God’s Dwelling Place. I had never heard of Beth Moore, but I had always been intrigued by the tabernacle, and I just thought it would be an interesting study.
But God had something else in mind … after all, I had prayed for Him to show himself to me. Why would he not answer THAT prayer?
As I began to study those lessons, I can remember waking up at 5 a.m. many days, and almost hearing God whisper in my ear, “Come, I have something to show you”. 5 a.m.!! Seriously? But God had NEVER woke me up before, and it was exciting. I was loving this study. I was loving God’s Word. Something was happening. It didn’t happen overnight, but I was changing.
Slowly I was finding my joy, my peace….my God. How? In ancient text about the Old Testament tabernacle, of all places? But I discovered in those pages that God’s Word was alive and active and relevant. Words written thousands of years ago were helping me cope with distraught daughters. Those words were helping me encourage my husband. Those words were helping me get through my days with a new contentment. The weariness had lifted.
I found joy not by my doing, acting, or working, but by seeking Him; studying His word, praying and keeping my focus on Him. Were my girls still unhappy? Oh yeah. Was I still sick and tired and sometimes stressed-out in our new situation? Absolutely. Did Jon’s job go “south”? Well, yes, it did. But still, I had this inner joy that circumstances couldn’t take away.
Throughout that study and the next one, I continued to wake up early and run down the stairs! Isaiah 40:31 says, “Those who wait upon the Lord will gain new strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” …wait upon the Lord.My focus needs to be on God.
My perspective had always been wrong.
I still go to church every Sunday. In fact, I still DO many of things I did when I was that young, frustrated woman. But my motivation has changed.
And my perspective has changed.
I’m looking UP these days — not out and about.
Do you have a joy that can’t be shaken by your circumstances? Are you looking out into the world to find a contentment that can only be found in God?
“God, help me find you!”
Listen, can you hear it? He’s whispering…
“Come, I have something to show you…”