you are exalted far above all gods.
10 Let those who love the LORD hate evil,
for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light is shed upon the righteous
and joy on the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the LORD, you who are righteous,
and praise his holy name." Psalm 97:9-12
It seems the verses I've been drawn to this week all have the same theme going on with light and dark. I love it when God reinforces what I'm learning with more on the same topic. What drew me specifically to this passage today is verse eleven. "Light is shed upon the righteous, and joy on the upright heart." Specifically, the mention of joy.
Let me tell you why. I hate winter. I hate the snow, I hate being cold, and there are so many times I wish I lived somewhere warmer. My favorite winter ever was the one that I spend in Washington DC, the only times it snowed it wasn't more than an inch. Winter was balmy and rainy otherwise. That was the perfect winter to me. Yet, even with my cold, winter-hating feelings, I'm looking outside this morning and experiencing joy. The snow is beautiful. Yesterday Zander pointed out that when the sun shines on the snow, it gets all sparkly and looks like someone dumped glitter on the snow. And when Abigail comes home from school she hands me her backpack, changes her mittens and heads out to play in the snow- her face full of the joy of winter. And so despite my own personal feelings of dislike towards the winter, I can look outside and feel my insides get all warm and toasty.
I have to think that is God's way of saying something. When I can experience joy regardless of the situation... that is a real gift from God. I've had a rough week, as I have not been well, and life always goes on even when I'm sick. Yet every night this week, as I lay in bed sniffling and sneezing and feeling lousy, my sweet son was with me, snuggling up close and trying to help Mommy feel better. I swear I would just lie there and rub his back and it felt like my heart would burst. Yesterday I felt much better, and he slept in his own bed, like the previous nights never happened. Another example, we had grand plans for Christmas gifts this year for our kids. But Andy's work has cut way, way back, and we've had to change our plans. At first I was disappointed, because the kids were going to be so excited with their gifts. But now this changed plan has me just as excited as the first one- and in reality that doesn't make any sense, but here I am full of bubbly joy, happy that it's the holiday season.
So this morning I do exactly what verse twelve is saying. I am rejoicing in the Lord, and I will praise His Name all day long. In fact, when I'm done here, I'll be heading off to clean up the home that has seen some neglect the past few days, and you know... I may just enjoy it this morning. God is great, and I thank Him for his never ending joy.