Strength, Peace and Joy


One thing I love about working with Alice is the quiet. I have time to sit and be quiet and pray, listen, think. This morning in my quiet time (which, unfortunately, is becoming a rare occurrence), I was asking God to show me where my heart is. I’m entering into new territory in my life. I’m experiencing new feelings and I have no clue what they mean. That’s where God comes in. I like to journal my prayers and I like them to be in letter form. God is not some being in the sky who I only turn to for help. He is my friend. To borrow lyrics from Nichole Nordeman’s “I Am”, He is my comforter, healer, my redeemer. So putting things into a letter to God helps me see the relationship and forget the religion. So I was journaling and I was remarking on how it felt like it took me such a long time to shake off some old habits and get to where I am today. I was worried about slipping back into my old self when God gave me the word “strength”. I turned in the concordance to the section on strength and I found the following verse:

Psalm 29:11 The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.

That really struck me. For so long, I was focused on peace. Life was so, so, so crazy I couldn’t stand to think beyond one day in advance. He gave me peace. But He doesn’t just give me peace, He gives me strength, too. It’s not me alone in this; it’s me and Him. I read on a little further and I was hit by another verse:

Psalm 30:11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me in joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.

The use of the word “heart” literally means “glory”, which, according to my NIV study bible, means “the core of one’s being.” He has clothed me in joy so that the core of my being may sing to him and not be silent. It got me to thinking, have I been missing joy? Have I been so focused on just getting by that I have been missing out on his joy? It took God spelling it out for me to get it, but I think I finally got it. My mission this week: let God clothe me in joy.

And joy couldn’t come at a better time. School starts next week. As the stress level rises, I pray that joy does as well.