Could anything else happen?
We have friends suffering greatly with COVID-19, the country of Afghanistan is in upheaval, and Haiti has been decimated once again. Not to mention the unrest in our own country. To quote an old gospel song, “troublesome times are here”.
Prayers have centered on seeking healing, seeking relief from persecution, seeking safety, seeking strength for caregivers and those in the heat of the battles, and this is good. But I realized today that I have allowed my prayers to be taken over by circumstances. They are filled with petition, but I have forgotten the praise.
I have been so focused on the problems, that I have failed to focus on the One Who alone is our strength and shield. That IS a problem, because when I focus on the problems, I am overwhelmed. When I focus on Who God is, I know that He has not given up His position and He continues to work in all things.
A song we sang at church this morning caught my attention, reminding me that darkness cannot overcome light, reminding me of joy found in my Savior.
It seems a good song for a Monday morning. Pay special attention to the last verse and let your heart march forward today – a victor in the midst of strife.
1. Joyful, joyful, we adore thee, God of glory, Lord of love; hearts unfold like flowers before thee, opening to the sun above. Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away. Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day! 2. All thy works with joy surround thee, earth and heaven reflect thy rays, stars and angels sing around thee, center of unbroken praise. Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea, chanting bird and flowing fountain, call us to rejoice in thee. 3. Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blest, well-spring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest! Thou our Father, Christ our brother, all who live in love are thine; teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine. 4. Mortals, join the mighty chorus which the morning stars began; love divine is reigning o'er us, binding all within its span. Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife; joyful music leads us sunward, in the triumph song of life. ---Henry van Dyke, 1907
Nehemiah 8:10 …for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Psalm 5:11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
Photo – Sunrise over Virginia, Beth Mims