Jack Drake once told me “the Joy of the Lord is our strength”. Nehemiah 8:10
As you probably have experienced, it takes valley experiences to sift away all unimportant distractions and bring our focus back to Jesus and the fruits of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23
I had major foot surgery in June. Recovery was difficult and the Lord told me to come aside and rest a while. “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31 “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” Psalm 119:71
JOY RESTORED – GOD SIGHTINGS!
- We all have times in our lives where we have lost our joy. It’s in those valleys that God draws us closer to Himself. He is faithful and will restore our joy. Below are my God sightings – when I was low I saw God and He lifted me back up. He restores my joy! He does the same for you!
- While I was in a wheel chair, God appointed an encounter in a restaurant with Chrisie Funari, the President and Founder of the Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children. At 18 months of age, her daughter Ava was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. She was almost five when she passed away in 2012. Chrisie channeled her pain and loss into helping other children. As Founder and CEO, Chrisie, staff and volunteers, provide social, emotional and financial support along the way, guiding each family through the journey with hope and grace. I found out they wanted to start a K9 Companions program.
- They have therapy dog visits to hospitals, homes, hospice facilities and at funerals. WELL! I jumped on this! I told her “When I can walk again, I will contact you and help your program with my Therapy Dogs!” I recently took Benji to visit an 18 year old young man in his home that he shares with his mother. He has had cancer for 5 years and is in hospice. The experience was very humbling and made him smile! Benji and I are now part of the volunteer foundation team!
- I recently attended a Mayo Graduate School Symposium at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. I was sitting in the Gonda Building Atrium listening to the piano. A lady sat down beside me and started witnessing to me. (She is originally from the Philippines.) I shared that I was a Christian. She said she sits there every morning for a couple hours before going to work at Mayo St. Mary’s Hospital to pray for people. She writes devotionals and sends out 800 per month. She offered me a devotional book that had been given to her. I declined and said I had several at home and she should give it to someone else. She insisted. Turns out the book – “Jesus Calling “ – Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young, has met my needs in a dramatic way. Before we parted – we held hands and she prayed for me quoting one of my favorite scriptures – “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.” II Timothy 1:7
- While in Rochester, MN I had breakfast with a Mayo employee friend of mine. I did not know she was a Christian. We shared and held hands over the table and she prayed for me. She also sent me the book – “The Windshield Is Bigger than the Rearview Mirror” by Jeff Wickwire – Changing your focus from past to PROMISE.
- Due to surgery – I had not been able to take my Therapy Dogs to minister to patients at Mayo Clinic. I am now back to that – and experiencing JOY! A 7 year old girl with cancer last week – Teddy lying beside her in bed!
- Due to surgery – I had not been able to attend church for months. I am back in church worshipping the Lord with JOY!
- I am reminded of this scripture – “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
- “Fill us in the morning with Your loving-kindness. Let us sing for JOY and be glad all our days.” Psalm 90:14
- If your Joy is gone – Trust Jesus and watch for God sightings!
I know He will restore your Joy!
He restored mine!