Joy of the Soul
Ellie had a good night last night...nothing like the previous one! She is actually still sleeping. Thanks so much for praying.
I have been giving a lot of thought lately to joy. Sometimes at the most unexpected moments, this deep bubbling joy will rise up the surface and spill out. Often for no particular reason the sights and sounds around me will stand out in sharp relief and I will feel as if the air is fresher and the colors are more beautiful than ever before. And I see this joy in Ellie. God has given her a most precious gift, as she sings and giggles through each day. Obviously, there are times of pain when she cries, but when the pain is over that glorious joy is right behind it. What I have come to realize is that this kind of joy just cannot be summoned up out of ourselves on a whim...it's a wonderful gift from God. We picked the verse on the header of this blog with care, and I love the whole passage that it comes from. Often one or two different verses will have special meaning for me, but I think it's time to just read off the entire 8 verses as a whole: (The verses on the header are out of the New Living Translation, which I loved for Ellie, but the following are out of the New King James - there are several verses that I love in this version.)
Psalm 63: 1-8
"O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for you in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. When I rememeber You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You, Your right hand upholds me."
What stood out to me in this passage was the word soul: "my soul thirsts for You...my soul shall be satisfied (NLT says 'more than the richest feast')...my soul follows close behind You." I guess that's maybe where the difference is, it's on a soul level. I get so tired sometimes and I cry and I feel selfish and miss my old life (and for that matter, Ellie does too) but in the end, our souls are satisfied...and we have joy.
May God bless you all today with this wonderful gift of JOY!