Dave and I had the wonderful opportunity to be up in Chandler this last week with Kaci, Stephen, Sam and Kristine. We headed up early Sunday morning – Kristine was born before we got there but we saw her when she was less than 7 hours old.
After we left the hospital, we took Sam home and became his playmate for the next few days while Momma & Dadda stayed with baby sisser at the hospital. He’s not quite two and full of energy. (There is a reason the Lord gives you children while you are young.) We older folks just don’t have the stamina we had in our 30’s. Sam is a sweet boy and we had tons of fun!
Then the rest of the family joined us and we were there another couple days before heading home. So sweet to see this family melt together – San’s excitement seeing his Momma and Daddy after being separated for 3 days, accepting his new baby and Kaci and Stephen making sure Sam knew he was special and loved. It was great!
But then came time to come home! Home and rest. Spent most of our day yesterday doing that very thing…resting. Sometimes the things that drain us are joyful and exciting, at other times it can be situations that are difficult and emotionally and physically taxing.
True strength comes from one place. When we wait on the Lord we are renewed in strength and this strength is a fruit of taking joy in the Lord. (Nehemiah 8:10) That joy comes when we focus on Him; His goodness, His grace, His mercy, His provision.
The people in Nehemiah’s day were rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem and during the reconstruction they came across the scrolls containing God’s word. As the priest read, the people were saddened and became repentant because they had fallen away from following God’s word.
“The people started crying when God’s Law was read to them. Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher, and the Levites who had been teaching the people all said, “This is a special day for the LORD your God. So don’t be sad and don’t cry!”
10 Nehemiah told the people, “Enjoy your good food and wine and share some with those who didn’t have anything to bring. Don’t be sad! This is a special day for the LORD, and he will make you happy and strong.”
11 The Levites encouraged the people by saying, “This is a sacred day, so don’t worry or mourn!” Nehemiah 8:9-11 CEV
Finding God’s word first convicted them and then it encouraged them. It brought them reason to celebrate, reason for hope, it brought them strength!
Do you need strength today? Physical, emotional, spiritual, relational, financial – then look to God’s word – it will bring you joy and in joy is your strength.