There are times when I just don’t have the strength to face whatever is in front of me. Maybe it’s because I’m not feeling well. Maybe it’s something I am afraid of. Like a worldwide pandemic. A financial crisis. Political upheaval. Or maybe it’s a recurring family issue. In all fairness, things are pretty crazy right now. And I don’t have the strength for it.
So what to do? One time a friend told me to remember that the Joy of the Lord is my strength. And I wondered how can I be joyful when things are bleak? And the answer came to me. Because God is bigger than any problem facing me. I might not be able to figure it out but God can. I can pray. I can turn it over and let Him deal with it. And that is where the joy comes in. Because God will take our burdens and give us rest. He is our strength.
“But this is different, the world is coming apart at the seams!” I want to cry out.
Is there anything too difficult for God to handle? If God created the universe, He can probably handle a little virus.
“But this hasn’t happened in 100 years!” I protest.
And our country survived the last one. Our politics have been messy from the beginning. Yet, we are still here. There have been depressions and recessions and stock market crashes before. And we are still the richest country in the world.
Sometimes the best thing to do is stop looking at the scary stuff and start looking at God instead. If we look at what is good today, it will remind us of all that we do have – home, family, friends. We can find joy in the good in our lives and it will make us stronger.
Sam in Lord of the Rings said it beautifully:
It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo.
The ones that really mattered.
Full of darkness and danger they were,
and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end.
Because how could the end be happy.
How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened.
But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow.
Even darkness must pass.
A new day will come.
And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.
Those were the stories that stayed with you.
Nothing is too hard for God. He will work this out. Maybe not exactly the way we would like, but He will guide our steps, and in the end, the results are up to Him.
Let God be your strength. That is something to be joyful about!