It's in my times of great need when God's great provision is most noticeable; perhaps that's why He has me there so often. Here, I can only begin to recount His faithfulness over the past few weeks. From a purely materialistic standpoint, He's provided everything we needed - a house, kitchen appliances, a washer and dryer, a mini van, a lawn mower, food - everything. But even those things pale in comparison to the people He's put in our lives to help us through this stage - mentors, countless helping hands on moving day, generous and selfless hearts who have given of their time and resources to help us set up life on Main Street. He's provided employment opportunities (for both of us - I'll be working part time in the fall) and given me a renewed desire and energy to be a mother and to blossom where He has placed me.
The summer is off to a wonderful start.
But in the midst of all of it, I found myself lacking joy yesterday. It seemed so ridiculous, really - I've been given absolutely everything I need and more, and yet in the cold, gloomy, runny-nose morning yesterday I was having a hard time coming up with reasons to smile.
Looking up "joyful" in the concordance, I found Isaiah 49:13.
"Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted."
As I read that and other similar verses, I found the common thread - one that I already knew existed but that became more real to me that morning - that true joy springs out of challenging times and takes place in the midst of the hardship - not necessarily when it is over. And so, the nature of joy is to have it when life is disorderly, chaotic, sick, and unsettled, because life is disorderly, chaotic, sick,and unsettled.
Lord, remind me.