"Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." - John 16:24 (NIV)
I woke up this morning still feeling "blah" (I'm sure there's a better word to describe the feeling but this one works best for me!). Thought it was going to be another day of not wanting to get anything done. I sat down at my desk to check my emails, delaying opening my Bible and doing my morning reading. God had other ideas for my day, though.
I receive daily devotions in my email so, as I was checking them, I came across one from Joni & Friends. It was about taking by force that which is promised us in the Bible, no matter what obstacles Satan places in our paths. Then, I read one from Proverbs 31 Ministry about being tired of waiting on God. About praying the same thing every day and feeling like God's not hearing the prayers. It gave Isaac as an example of someone in the Bible who prayed, pleaded and begged God, daily, but never lost faith that his prayers would eventually be answered. And it started to hit me, that's what's been going on with me. I've allowed Satan to place obstacles in my path and have been expecting God to just reach right down and take them out of my life. I want Him to fulfill His promises without any work on my part. That's not going to happen.
Then the strangest thing happened: the "blahs" started to lift. They lifted even more when I read today's passage in "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young. It talked about how, if I focus on the obstacles, I'll go off course, but if I focus on Jesus, before I know it, the obstacles will be behind me and I'll hardly know how I passed through them. Another devotion on obstacles? Wow! That's it!! I've been focusing on the obstacles; I've gotten off course!! So, now what? Well, thank God these devotions are fairly short because I still hadn't gotten to the one I do my daily Bible study on. And when I opened up that book, this verse in John is what God gave me. I haven't been looking for enjoyment in anything. Not prayer, not the Bible, not my grandkids, not my husband, not my friends....not in anything! I've been able to laugh but it had to be something so obvious that I couldn't help but laugh. But, just to see the joy in everyday living...hasn't been happening. So, I bowed my head and had a heart-to-heart with God. I cried (we women have to do that from time to time, no matter how much we don't want to) and I asked Him to help me to find my joy again. I told Him I wanted to take back by force the enjoyment in life that I have allowed Satan to steal from me. I intend for my focus to get back on Jesus and get back on course. But I can't do it alone and I asked Him to strengthen me and to help me find the things today that will make me smile and laugh and bring joy into my heart. Things that I've overlooked in my focus on Satan's obstacles. My intention today is to find enjoyment in the little things...my granddaughter's giggle, the dogs chasing each other through the house, a clean kitchen, a beautiful sunshiny day, a cleansing shower, my sister's encouraging text message and even Dennis' corny jokes! I'm thumbing my nose at Satan and his "blahs"!! Now that's something that's bringing me enjoyment!
"I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life. God gave life that I might enjoy all things" - Author Unknown
Heavenly Father, You knew just what I needed today and everyday and for that I am truly thankful. Please open my eyes and heart to the joy You provide for me daily. I want to find enjoyment in all aspects of this life. Help me to focus on Jesus and not on the obstacles Satan places in my way. I ask this in Jesus' name, Amen.