I may not be able to speak of joyful things today. The physical pain I am experiencing is far too strong, covering me with just a little bit of despair. More than one of my good friends told me in the past few days that I am strong. I am not and, thankfully I don’t have to be because the friends that surround me are being strong for me. They are calling on the minuscule strength I do have and bringing it into view for me. They have told me joyful things when I could not name joyful things for myself. In the process of loving me, my friends call out to the joy and strength that is in me to make itself known. And on top of that, they allow me, without judgement, to be where I am and feel what I feel.
So although I may not be able to speak of joyful things right now, I know that you have already tucked joyfulness into the recesses of your heart. I may not have much hope to send to you today, but you have hope in abundance and it breathes over your spirit during times of courage and times of fear, times when you feel certainty and times when you feel disillusioned. Out of your stores of faith, you encircle me and breathe hope into my spirit . . . and strength and joy.
For that, I am most grateful. And I am grateful that when I am weak, God is my strength. When I am joyless, God covers me with joy. I believe this by faith (a smidgen of mustard seed faith) in those times when I cannot experience those comforts within me, times like this present time of struggle and recovery.
I’ll leave you with these words of comfort that you already know so intimately, words that I also know intimately, but that I need to hear anew today.
And God, the giver of all grace, who has called you to share His eternal glory, through Christ, after you have suffered for a short time, will make you perfect, firm, and strong. — 1 Peter 5:10
For our light and temporary affliction is producing for us an eternal glory that far outweighs our troubles. — 2 Corinthians 4:17
Though I cannot manage to speak of joyful things today, the writers of 1 Peter and 2 Corinthians most definitely can!
Thanks be to God.