My word to meditate on through the month of July has been Joy. I looked forward to a happy month, especially after the deep sadness of losing our little Shadow in May.
But wouldn’t you know it! Joy got kicked to the side the very first week of the month! I was completely broadsided and blindsided. The only way Joy has been able to rise is to wait upon Him.
There are opportunities for every single one of us to be hurt or offended, confused by a person’s words or actions towards us. We second guess our relationship, and more often than not, it is simple oversight on the behalf of the other party.
But it is also something more…
A friend recently shared these words with me, “we need to ask ourselves what meaning or judgment do we attach to the particular hurt or offense. What is the story we tell ourselves based on our own issues? When we can identify with that, we can work towards becoming unoffendable.”
Her words become life changers when we realize none of the names we call ourselves is found in the Beloved. We are His Beloved, no longer rejected and cast aside. We are sons and daughters of the King of Glory and when we choose to hide and find ourselves in Him, reminding ourselves of Whose we are, Joy once again takes the front seat.
I am completely accepted and wholly loved and it matters not what may or may not have been said behind my back. We are His completely, one with Him, united with Him because we are reconciled with Him.
The glory of the Lord is our Rear Guard and because our lives are in Him, the pain of (possible) hurtful words and actions first must go through Him. He has given to us the ministry of reconciliation and instead of opting to go with our feelings, how much better it would be if we stood in our calling and worked towards reconciliation.
United, one with Him = no divisions.
And Him? He has already forgiven the (perceived) offending party and so must we.
So, rather than only the one word “Joy”, I hold in my heart these days, a prayer asking God to create in me a clean heart and to renew a right spirit within me.
I’m asking for a heart that has been cleansed of all pain, offense, hurt, anger, bitterness, rejection and most of all to keep me from striking back or initiating a conversation while I am still hurt and angry.
I long for my spirit to bear no bruises and to only bear the mark of love. Blood stained and washed whiter than snow I am able to hold my peace and allow the Lord to work behind the scenes and in the depths of my heart.
In the waiting He is revealing truth and wise strategies as well as giving me the perseverance to be patient as I wait for the right time to initiate a difficult conversation by planting seeds of love.
Peace is one of the few things the Lord has said we are to “hold or keep”. Jesus has told us that if we want to save our lives we must lose them and somehow in that mess of emotions He wants us to be still and hold our peace.
The reason is because He wants to fight for us and show Himself strong on our behalf.
When we run into the High Tower, we run to Jehovah Shalom and He envelopes us in Peace, in Himself.
I choose to submit to Him as an act of worship, as an act of my will despite the fact that my flesh wants to go after retribution. I must continue to hold my peace and I am strengthened and encouraged by the promise of God going to bat for me.
Joy doesn’t have to be kicked to the side when a hurtful situation arises if we choose obedience to the Lord.
In His hands are power and might; In His hands it is to make great and to give strength to all and I thank Him and praise Him for His glorious Name and all the attributes which that Name denotes. I am safe in Him, strengthened and upheld by His grace.