"and the ransomed of the LORD will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away." Isaiah 35:10
Happy December! This is the month of joy and gladness, as we spend the next several weeks celebrating the birth of the King! It's a time to be joyful, and sometimes I've found that I really need to concentrate to feel joyful. If I let the world dictate what my mind dwells on, I'm quickly overcome by sadness and despair, but if I keep my mind focused on the joy of the Lord- joy is a constant state of being.
This verse today... it came to mind as I was thinking about joy and yesterday. We had a great day yesterday, we got back into school after a week off, and it definitely felt good to get back into learning mode- I think we all were ready for it. In between things, I spent time finishing up washing the Thanksgiving dishes, and doing laundry. Oh, so much laundry! It was pure joy to do the laundry and then spend part of the afternoon with the kids going through their closets. We were able to pull out all those things that don't really fit anymore, and fill them up with an abundance of clothing that does fit. God is so awesome to provide what we need when we need it- and then to provide it in such abundance is truly a miracle. I'm still smiling this morning about it, as I still have a few things of the kids to go through.
Oh yeah, back to the verse. As I was reading it, I couldn't help but wonder what it would feel like to have everlasting joy. What would it be like to always be full of joy? What would it be like to rejoice in everything? And then the next part gave me such encouragement- gladness and joy will overtake them. All I could think, as I read this verse was that I want to be overtaken. I want to be overtaken and I want to experience heavenly gladness and joy. Oh, do I want that all the time! I think I get glimpses of that, I get those times where I could probably be hit by a truck and I would find the good in it. But there are still those times that it is a struggle- those times where, I know I'm not as bad off as Job, but golly, it sure seems like things couldn't get any lower.
When I have those moments, when I have those times where I just feel like the world is pressing in and trying to rob me of my joy, then I know I'm not doing something right. In the most recent case, I wasn't spending any time in the Word. I can always tell when I am not diving in to my Bible- my outlook changes a touch. When I am not getting a regular diet of God's Word, the worldly diet tries to tell me that it knows better- that it's the better diet for me. Thank God for His Word, and also for the Holy Spirit that keeps me on track- that directs me to verses like this today that shows me such encouragement. It's the Holy Spirit that makes my Bible light up like a beacon when I have those few extra minutes, and I'm debating what to do. The Bible is my path to Zion, and as long as I stay on the path, the sorrow and the sighing will flee away.