Monday, October 15, 2012

There IS strength to be had.

Midway through October and I am so unprepared to be here. So, I started listening to Christmas Music. Nothing like pressing the fast forward button. I have been so angry, and so sad with all the things that have happened in the last year that I want to say goodbye to 2012. But then I get overwhelmed at what 2013 is going to look like.

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.

But listen to what God says, in spite of the MEGA failures of the Israelite people, their exile, their idolatry, their disobedience- " Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.” And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them." Nehemiah 8:10-12

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.)

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