…the joy of the LORD is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV)
It’s hard to imagine going through a horrific life event and finding joy. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine finding joy in a difficult day! And truly, it wasn’t until recently that I realized how powerful this statement was. I think it works something like this: when life is annoying, challenging, or downright crushing; when you drop to your knees and hold on – Jesus shows up and speaks to you in ways that are personal and meaningful to you (and only you). As he continues to pour himself into your heart, the ache is replaced with something else. The something else is the realization that the God of the universe got personal. It kind of surprises you – it’s not something you’d expect but there it is. And that experience becomes your strength. It becomes your joy. Pure Joy.