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Choose Joy

Posted by on May 9, 2015


God is always teaching me to trust Him. Recently, I am comforted by the truth that His precious care for me is reflected in His care for all of His creation, specifically the birds.

Curled up with my crocheted blanket on the couch in my bedroom, I sat in silence. My heart turned toward the Lord in prayer while the rain gently pattered outside. It has been raining all week. Then I heard something: the birds were singing. Over and over, their joyful song met my ears.

Birds — for whom the Lord so carefully provides.

Birds — which remind me of my Lord’s care for me.

Birds — who are freely singing in the midst of the rain.

In Matthew 10:29-31 Jesus says, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Anxiety reveals a distrust in the goodness of my Heavenly Father. He cares about the smallest details, and He is more than able to provide for every need.

Sometimes I feel like I need to prepare myself for the future, to make sure I will be ok. But Jesus says in Matthew 6:25-26, “I tell you, do not be anxious about your life… Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” I don’t need to store up and prepare myself for what will happen. My strength is not sufficient. Instead, I need to rely on the Lord and ask Him for my daily bread. DAILY. Doesn’t He daily take care of the birds? He will provide for me as I trust Him. He does not intend for today’s grace to be used for tomorrow’s troubles. He will give me exactly enough grace for each moment of today.

And because of the Lord’s precious care, I can choose joy. If you look out at the sky today, it is gray and cloudy. But if you listen, you can hear the birds singing. It does not seem to matter to them that the sky is gray; they are joyful. This gives me a picture of how joy is a choice. Even in difficulty, our joy in the Lord can be constant — for in Christ is salvation from death, deliverance from fear, and a personal connection with the God of all creation.

As I was driving to school one day this past week, I was overcome with the emotion of my circumstances. My heart wanted to dwell on my fear, and my attitude was gloomy. I was listening to my Rend Collective album, and the song “Joy” came on. My first thought was to change the song because I felt anything but joyful. But instead I listened to the words. Gently at first, the truths pattered on my heart like the rain. Deeper and deeper, they soaked into my mind and heart. I can choose joy. I can trust the Lord with what I don’t understand. Like the birds, I can choose to sing when it doesn’t seem like I should, because my Lord is taking care of me.

Psalm 5:11, “But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your name may exult in You.”

We’re choosing celebration, breaking into Freedom
You’re the song, You’re the song of our hearts
We cast aside our shadows, trust You with our sorrows
You’re the song, You’re the song of our hearts

We’re dancing to the rhythm of Your heart
We’re rising from the ashes to the stars
You’re the Joy Joy Joy lighting my soul
The Joy Joy Joy making me whole
Though I am broken, I am running into Your arms of love

The pain will not define us, joy will reignite us
You’re the song, You’re the song of our hearts
The dark is just a canvas for Your grace and brightness
You’re the song, You’re the song of our hearts

You’re the joy, the song of my heart, the hope of my soul

In the shadows, in the sorrows, in the desert
When the pain hits, You are constant, ever-present

You’re the song of my heart

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