Unexplainable Joy

Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:18

Good morning!

Have you ever experienced a season of unexplainable joy? You know, those times in your life when it looks as if you have no reason to be joyful. The past ten weeks has been that kind of season for me.

It all began the last Sunday in January when water seeped from the humidifier onto my tile. In less time than it takes to blink, I was on the floor. My foot throbbed from crashing into the riser. Hubby picked me up and sat me on the couch. Then I laughed until I was crying. I didn’t know where it was coming from, but my daughter began laughing with me. When I finally stopped laughing, I tried to stand.

Yes, I thought to walk it off.

But, I couldn’t put my foot on the floor. It felt like my entire leg was being drawn forward and upward with an invisible rope.  Furthermore, my daughter thought my third toe looked odd.

Well, yeah!

So the next morning, we were off to see the doctor. And this is where it gets interesting. While waiting for the results of the X-rays, the words of a song about praising the Lord in the storm drifted through my mind. And my reply was, “This isn’t a storm. Now, 2010…that was a storm.”

 

I will joy Swan

The doctor told me I had indeed fractured my third toe. She prescribed an anti-inflammatory for the joint and sent me home.

After I had reached home, I exited the truck, made my way up the steps, and with the help of the crutches catapulted myself backward onto the cement walkway. Again, I landed on my backside, but this time my left arm took the weight of the fall. The bulging tendons told me it wasn’t good.

When Lindsay helped me off the ground and onto the couch, I laughed, again! What was I laughing about? I didn’t know. But, my left foot had hit the porch coming down and was no longer pulling upward. That was something. At least, now I could hobble by myself.

I discarded the useless crutches!

Storm? Yeah! I could see the storm clouds now. I could hear the thunder rolling across the skies. ButI didn’t see what was waiting on the horizon.

After a week of nothing but sitting on the couch, I opted to go outside for the afternoon with hubby and the girl while they worked on the 4-wheeler. Standing beside the trailer, I saw no danger when suddenly, the 4-wheeler decided to lurch forward. The trailer wheel caught the same leg. Same foot. Yep, that happened.

Last X-rays showed I had two fractured toes and a cracked wrist. And that was just the bones.

After each incident, when the house grew quiet, I would begin my nights with crying—half from the pain and half from the frustration of not being able to tend to my everyday needs. Ever been there, dear reader? By the end of the day, your strength is gone. You’re in a heap on the floor and He’s all you have left.

It’s a lonely place to be.

But then, the words of that song would drift through my mind, and I could focus on praising Him. Yes, I could see the upside.  I had fallen twice but hadn’t hit my head once. I’ve done the concussion thing, already. Yes, things could’ve been worse. More importantly, God loves me and has rescued me. Blessed be His Holy name. Yes, I could praise Him in this storm.

And in return I received laughter. Through this whole ordeal, there has been an unexplainable joy bubbling inside.

So I ask you, dearest reader, do we have a reason to be joyful in seasons of sorrow, pain, and loss?

 

 

 

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

Without a kinsman redeemer. Lost. Without hope. No way out. Until the cry of a newborn proclaimed Deliverance. Salvation has come! The cries for redemption became shouts of exaltation.

The angels proclaimed the wonderous news. The shepherds came to see. Kings laid gifts at His feet. Simeon gave thanks. And Anna declared Him to all who looked for redemption in Jerusalem. The Consolation of Israel… the world.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel is a prayer for redemption. Yet the chorus is a declaration of God’s faithfulness. He will not leave us in our troubles but in His time, He shall bring us out. Tis the reason to rejoice!

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Galatians 4:4-7

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Titus 2:14

History:
Translator John Mason Neale (1851)
Tune VENI EMMANUEL (Chant)

Favorite line:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

Victorious!

And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Colossians 2:15

The above verse is one of my favorites because it describes the practice of a victorious king parading his defeated foes behind him as he enters the city.

Throughout the Bible, we find the Lord described as a protector, a conqueror, and a deliverer.

David calls the Lord his fortress, a fortified place or stronghold.

Fortress

Isaiah also speaks of walls and gates protecting God’s people.

In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks (a wall of earth). Isaiah 26:1

Salvation Walls

Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise. Isaiah 60:18

Praise

Jesus calls us a city. Unlike today, cities once had walls to protect it.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Matthew 5:14

Castle on a Hill

And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken. Isaiah 62:12

We are not abandoned. God is with us! We will overcome. We will stand victorious!

Do you have a favorite imagery in the Bible? If so, I would love to hear what it is.

Blessings

 

WDYB~What Do You Believe?

Imagine Jerusalem filled with today’s technology…

This is Mark Jacobs with a special report from downtown Jerusalem in the WDYB studio.

Good evening. With what started as a typical day has rekindled the past firestorm of controversy surrounding the man known as Jesus Christ of Nazareth. For those just now joining us, we’ll start with the story of his birth.

His mother Mary told me the Holy Spirit overshadowed her and she conceived, making His birth a scientific wonder. She also said, after losing Him one day, she found Him teaching in the temple.

Nothing miraculous there, until she told me He was twelve-years-old at the time.

After that, I didn’t uncover much about his early life, but I did learn He left His carpentry job and began ministering to the poor and needy.

Now, this is where it gets interesting, folks.

He was hauled before the leaders accused and crucified. But He didn’t remain in the tomb. People are claiming He is alive. And so, this reporter followed his nose and boy, did I find  a story!

I spent days speaking with eyewitnesses as they recounted their experiences with this quiet, unassuming man. I have to caution you, I have never heard anything like it before. I daresay, it will challenge your way of thinking.

One such witness, named Jairus, declared this Jesus raised his twelve-year-old daughter from the dead.

And that’s not all. Two sisters, Mary and Martha claimed He raised their decaying, stinking brother, Lazarus from the dead, also.

Another witness, by the name of Bartimaeus, said Jesus, who he called the Son of David, restored his sight.

I continued my research and found another man who told me of a banquet for 5000 in the middle of nowhere. One woman with an issue of blood for twelve years was healed when she touched the hem of His garment. Can you believe it?

I’m sorry, folks, but I have to smile when I think of the physician’s reaction. Incredible!

Here at WDYB we are fair and balanced, so, I went to the other side of town and spoke with those who are adamant in their unbelief.

Included in that crowd, were those who called Him a fraud, and a blasphemer. They claimed He didn’t rise from the dead, but His followers stole his body away in the middle of the night.

I returned to my hotel only to meet with two who claimed to have talked with Him while traveling to Emmaus. They reported while they conversed with Him their hearts burned within them.

And that brings us to the story of the hour. When asking where I could find this Jesus, they told me, He had gone away but promised to return soon.

In preparation for His return, certain followers are waiting in an upper room. When I asked what they were waiting for, Simon Peter, apparently the spokesman for the group, said, “ We were commanded to tarry until we receive power from on high. Afterward, we are to carry the Gospel to the far corners of the world.”

Then he shared the Gospel with me. What an amazing story!

So there, you have it, folks. Whether you believe or not, one thing is undeniable. This man called Jesus has turned the world, as we know it, upside down. And I expect years from now, there will still be debates about Him.

But as for me, I began this journey for answers. And I have concluded, I cannot deny the testimony of those who experienced first hand this man called Jesus of Nazareth. Truly, He is the Son of God.

So I will leave it with you.

This is Mark Jacobs in Jerusalem, signing off for WDYB. What do you believe?

Good night.