Over these past 4 years, I’ve experienced a wilderness of life. There were times where I felt emotionally and physically drained, other times spiritually drained. I must admit there were times I didn’t have the energy to pray or seek Jesus Christ because of the many hurts and pains in my journey. But God is so good and sovereign that HE brought back to my memory, my favorite childhood Sunday School song “I got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy down in my heart… where?” (saying “where” with a shout brought excitement in knowing there was power in that joy God gave me). At that moment I realized this joy was deep down in my heart, but the shout to release it out during this wilderness season was missing.
Things that I loved doing, especially running outside, weren’t on my mind during my wilderness journey. But the joy of the LORD began to fill my heart. I started slow (turtle steps lol) and set time aside to take walks at the park building up the strength to start running again. I felt so free because the weight was lifting. The best thing about my running moment is seeing God’s creation before me. I love gazing at the sky! It reminds me that no matter what I’m going through, always look up because the LORD is always there seeing me through. My heart began to sing, I got the Joy!!! Once I started singing this song, my shout became louder and louder, then I felt the walls (like Jericho - Joshua 6:5) around my heart coming down and the joy of the LORD became my strength (Nehemiah 8:10). All the hurt, pain, unforgiveness, anger, doubts, fears and then some started to be released and the joy in my heart was rejuvenated.
Let’s take a walk my Beautiful Beloved Sister, what is keeping you from having that joy again? Is it hurt? Is it shame? Is it regret? Is it unforgiveness? Is it fear? Is it doubt? Well, I have some good news for you!! JOY comes from above and God gives it freely to you. He said, “casting all cares on HIM, because HE cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7). So cast your hurt, shame, regret, unforgiveness, fear, doubt, and then some to the LORD. Now, I’m going to be honest with you…there are times you will walk through the wilderness of life but it’s great to know that God gives us all a song to sing. Go ahead and sing with a shout of praise and see those “walls” come tumbling down. Take that walk, run the marathon, laugh again, read your favorite book, start that business, finish that semester, take that much needed trip because in His presence is abundant joy waiting to meet you there (Psalm 16:11).
Linda S. Merilus 🦋