Guest post by Arlene Pellicane (If you’re not reading her blog and books, you should be!)
Can I borrow a cup of sugar?
Sometimes when making a recipe, we realize we don’t have the right ingredients. Life can be like that. We come up short.
We’re tired. Stressed out. Overwhelmed.
We need to borrow something to make the “daily bread” needed for today.
I’m wondering if you need to borrow a cup of joy?
Guess what? Although I’m happy to offer you a cup as a neighbor in this community, you can do even better. You can borrow a cup of joy from God Himself.
Consider the beautiful words of hope found in Nehemiah 8:10, “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
You don’t have to muster up the joy. It’s not your joy that becomes your strength. It is the joy of the Lord.
His joy. Your strength.
A few years ago, my family got to watch part of an Ironman 70.3 triathlon. Ironman 70.3 races include a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike ride, and a 13.1 mile run, which adds up to 70.3 miles of total racing.
I won’t be signing up anytime soon.
We admired all the forty and fifty somethings crossing the finish line and even a 69-year-old, but we were most inspired by the man we saw biking using a racing wheelchair. He had no legs and was motoring through those hot, rigorous 56 miles using his upper body alone.
As we cheered wildly for him, he looked up and stuck out his tongue as if to say, “Phew, this is tough!” But the twinkle in his eye revealed his joy.
From joy comes great strength.
How’s your strength level today? You may or may not be ready to train for a triathlon (me neither), but do you live with a twinkle in your eye like that inspiring athlete in the wheelchair? Nehemiah 8:10 calls out to us…“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
God’s joy can pour into your life, so that you can pour joy into your family.
I was raised by a very happy, joy-filled mom. My mom doesn’t walk, she bounces. You hear her laughing and talking happily long before you see her. Growing up, my friends would always ask me, “Is your mom always this happy?” to which I would reply without hesitation, “Yes.”
I do think my mom was born sunny side up, but she’s also made choices in life that anyone can make to live happily. She’s depended on God in good times and bad as her source of joy.
This is the mindset I saw in my mom while I was growing up:
Rejoice in the Lord and keep your focus on Him, not your circumstances. Believe the best about everyone. Don’t hold onto grudges. Champion the underdog. Look for ways to minister to others. Laugh often.
Isn’t that the mindset we would want our daughters to see in us?
Don’t worry if you’re falling short today…when you need a cup of joy, run to Jesus. His joy. Your strength.