Devotions

SACRIFICING WITH SHOUTS OF JOY

“For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD” (Psalm 27:5-6, NIV).

As we head into week…oh, I forget; it is hard to keep track of the days and weeks when nothing really changes to mark a particular occasion. Last night, I read some passages in the book of Job; a man who lost everything; his children, financial security, and finally, Job was physically afflicted with sores all over his body. He had no one in his world to offer hope. Oh, yes, his friends in the beginning stood by him with platitudes meant to make him feel better but they eventually lost patience and begged him to just fess up to whatever sin was causing his demise. They were growing weary at well-wishing.

A cheerleader at heart, I want to encourage all of my friends as we continue on this difficult journey through the disease of COVID-19. However, I have no platitudes or magic potion to ease the pain. I don’t know where each of you are in the pandemic; I pray neither you nor anyone you love has contracted the virus. Wherever you are, although we are “socially distancing,” we really are in this thing, together!

The toughest days in my life were when I helplessly watched, as my husband suffered through Alzheimer’s, the disease that I knew would eventually end his life but only after years of ravaging his entire mind and body! As the days dragged into years, like the Psalmist I cried out to God, “How long, Lord…” In the Scripture leading into this writing, the Psalmist says, “At his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy” (emphasis mine). When the things of this world, such as health or financial wellbeing threaten to dissolve, what comes into your mind? Is it to “shout for joy?”

Shouting for joy will probably not change the coronavirus outcome but then, again, I don’t really know if this is true. What I do know is true is this: when we take our eyes off of the “distraction,” in this case the virus and look at the blessings we do have, a change occurs within us. Yes, it is a “sacrifice” to give up our fears and perhaps anger and replace them with thankfulness but the view on top of the mountain is so much more beautiful than down in the valley.

Friend climb with me!

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