Then I read Nehemiah. It was so good to be reminded that "the joy of the LORD" IS my "strength". In this passage you see the people of God preparing to hear the Law- basically the 10 Commandments and goodies from the first 5 books of the Bible. They had begged to have the Word of the Lord read to them, but as they heard it..they began to despair and weep, recognizing their total inability to meet God's standard. That's how I have been feeling this last season. Just completely incapable to do anything of worth, to have failed in so many ways and now, somehow, needing to find a way to make it right.
A commentary I read said that the people had found a reason to celebrate. They had not been totally destroyed as a nation, in spite of their sin. God was and always would be their comfort, their strength. Oh, how good, Lord, You are. Thank you for that word- that no matter the past, we have a future in you.
(Pictures just for fun- I love working with teens, they are fearless.)