15.4.13

Celebrations and Exaltations


Don’t you love when spring ushers in warmer sunshine and longer daylight hours?  Although, for some people even spring days seem like long, dark winter nights. The occasional glimpse of sunshine is barely enough to keep them going.

But even on those lonely days, there is something to celebrate.  A party may not be in order, but joy is possible if there is a diligent search for it. Every day gives us reasons for exaltations.

Last week’s blog post was about when the powerless pray. A youth pastor was struggling to survive in the hospital after open-heart surgery. He and his family have been walking through some exceedingly tough days. They discovered that this young man’s aorta was torn fifteen years ago after a car accident. The doctors were baffled how he has been walking around and living a full life all this time. When they went in to make the repair, the damaged portion literally crumbled in their hands.  The past fifteen years has been a miracle for this man. Want to hear another miracle? He is now at home recuperating and exalting his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Months ago, the pianist, Ms. Evelyn, in our church fell and broke her shoulder and arm. She is in her seventies and has been unable to care for herself.  Her passions in life are her music, cooking, and caring for others. Many days were filled with pain and discouragement. Some said they didn’t think she’d ever be strong enough to come back to church. Another person mentioned the impossibility of her ever being able to play the piano again. Last week, Ms. Evelyn came to church. This week, she played the piano.  Shedding joyful tears and sharing her testimony, Ms. Evelyn exalted her God.  

For years, a woman has been praying for the salvation of her brothers. Last week, while she and her husband were out of town, her youngest brother suddenly passed away after suffering a heart attack. Grief-stricken, she and her husband traveled a long, heart-broken road home. They clung tightly to their Shepherd even when it seemed all hope was lost. There is great sadness due to the loss of the loved brother. But tears of grief merge with tears of joy.

A pastor, who had been visiting the brother, shared how this lost sheep had found the Shepherd and had found peace before leaving this world. Even though hearts ache, there are exaltations lifted up to the Savior.

Hopefully, your day is sunny and bright. However, if circumstances find you in a dismal place—keep searching for the joy.  Look past the cobwebs of pain and discouragement. Peek inside every annoying crook and aggravating cranny. It’s there, but you will need to look to the Son to help you find it.

 

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes, the oil of joy
instead of mourning, and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. 

Isaiah 61:1-3

2 comments:

  1. God doesn't waste anything - even our suffering and struggles. He certainly will bring beauty from ashes. He is the only One who can. Aren't we blessed as His children that He wants to bring us from despair to joy?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Paula,
    Thanks so much for stopping by. Your words are true and an encouragement. And yes, we are very blessed by God's mercy and love.

    ReplyDelete

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