August 12, 2020
What a rollercoaster ride this is.
I don’t know about you, but I have found this pandemic to be a rollercoaster ride. There have been days that I feel a sense of new normal, and things run smoothly. The kids get their schooling done with few issues, and I am able to work successfully from home. At dinner we all still like each other and are able to play a game or hang out without the stress of school and work.
Then there are the other days. The days where many of us in the household are feeling the restrictions of the pandemic, the loss of connecting in person with friends and family, and we are just plain grumpy. We each end up retreating to our hiding spaces or pushing each other’s buttons.
Whether we are at a high point or a low point, what one of us feels is contagious within the confines of our home. If one of us is happy and positive, it affects the majority of us. If one of us is in a negative space, it affects the majority of us (although this seems to happen faster). It takes a lot more energy to be in that negative space than in the positive, and I have learned that no one walks away better for being in that negative space for too long.
In spite of the ups and downs, I’m choosing Joy
Despite my kids’ making fun of me, I have decided to make it my mission (beginning today) to preach joy! I even ordered a shirt for myself that says “We Choose Joy!” They were thrilled (insert sarcasm here). But seriously, what do we have to lose? So, I pulled out my Bible and started my search for verses on joy. Here are just a few that spoke to me…
“Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12
“Where can you find joy right now while
being sheltered by our Lord?”
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” Philippians 4:4
“But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, so that those who love your name may exult in you.” Psalm 5:11
What beautiful words to meditate on! Psalm 5:11 especially grabbed my attention. “…let all who take refuge in you rejoice….”
Oh, there is genuine refuge in the Lord!
During this time of pandemic, of being stuck in our homes, we certainly take comfort in the refuge or shelter of our Lord. God doesn’t want us to sit at home and sulk and be negative. God calls us to rejoice in God and all that God had given us! Be joyful and celebrate our blessings! Rejoice!
Look around you throughout the day or think about the day gone by. Where can you find joy right now while being sheltered by our Lord? Today I am finding joy in a late afternoon drive through the Wildlife Safari Park with my two youngest kids. We had the opportunity to observe, from the safety of our van, so many animals that God has created for us to enjoy. We enjoyed the warm sun and cool breeze.
I also found joy in mail sent to me from my sweet Elora, my dog basking in a sun spot like a cat, and from a package of homemade face masks that my mom sent us (in Minion and Wisconsin Badger fabrics). By the end of the day all the kids were shouting out to me “I choose joy!”
We can be proactive in our search for joy
Sometimes we need to shift our perspective to shift our attitude, especially in times like this, where life can seem like a rollercoaster ride. Sometimes we need to pick up our Bibles and remind ourselves that God’s got this pandemic and God’s got us, sheltered and protected. Sometimes we need to make a point to find the joy in our lives and thank God for it. And sometimes, we need to sing out loud and proud when we find the …. “I CHOOSE JOY!!!”
Deacon Koren Lindley