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Joy On The Path Of Life

How comforting these words, as we feed our faith on God’s promises. David, the writer of this psalm, knows that this assurance gives a matchless sense of security and joy (vv. 9-11.) Through all the circumstances of our lives we need to seek God for Who He is, not just what He can do for us, therefore, receiving the fullness of joy. Of further note, Psalm 16, including this verse, are quoted in the book of Acts 2:25-28.

What do you think of when you hear the word joy? Years ago, someone told me Joy is Jesus over you. Gratefully, in the midst, of our caretaking we see ‘some’ joy and yet there might be days that one doesn’t even smile. Too easily, we can give into despair, without moments of joy and hope. For me family is joy, for my family pets are joy. God’s beautiful creation, the mountains, trees, oceans and more, particularly as we walk among nature’s path nourishing our spirits, all are moments of joy. Yet how many times do we take these things for granted and forget to be grateful.

We are comforted by the words of Psalm 28:7, “The Lord is my strength and my shield, in whom my heart trusts. I am helped, so my heart rejoices; with my song I praise Him.” As you may know, the verb for the word joy is rejoice. There are many lovely songs dedicated to rejoicing. As are there, Scripture verses like Romans 12:12, “Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.”

God gave me a phenomenal, extraordinarily joyful moment at our granddaughter Amanda’s recent wedding on the beach. Despite the loss of my husband, who had been a pilot, I knew his spirit was there. She asked me to prepare a prayer and I choose Sirach 7:14-17, “A loyal friend is a safe shelter…,” speaking about friendship being the foundation of marriage. Reading and facing those attending, I heard a plane. When I returned to my chair, my son shared that it was a Cessna (one like he had flown) and it circled over my head three times as I was talking. While the family had tears in their eyes, I smiled and knew this gift brought boundless joy. We miss our loved ones and receive glimpses of joy that they are near in spirit even though we cannot ‘see’ with our eyes, we know in the hope of the Lord that they are there!

While my path in life has changed, I am still blessed knowing that God’s love carries and supports me through wonderful family and friends. I happily pray with Isaiah 43:16, “Thus says the Lord, who opens a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters.” And Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.” No matter what ‘difficult’ moments we encounter, as we focus on the Lord, not the troubles, we are shown the path of life that abounds in joy.

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