Something Stuart Said

April 23, 2007

We had our weekly night watch meeting last night and something that Stuart said really hit me. (That guy can be a genius sometimes. He’s an INTJ, you know. INTJ’s are like… brilliant. They call us them “Masterminds”.)

Stuart was talking about joy. He said that true joy only comes with the presence of God. We can’t conjure it up. We can’t fake it. True joy is the result of the Holy Spirit… God’s nearness… His delight in us… and so on.

As I sat there considering the things he was saying, I realized something about the last two and a half months of my life.

Since my mother passed away, I have discovered a peace and a joy unlike anything I have ever known before. It seems odd. Almost sick, actually. How can I have such an amazing joy when something so unbelievably heartbreaking has just happened? How can I be so at peace when it feels like everything around me (circumstantially) has been violently shaken, leaving only broken shards of what once seemed so solid, stable, and constant?

In light of what Stuart was saying, it makes complete sense. I have never experienced God’s presence in so real and so intimate a way as I have in the last couple of months. It’s not that He stingily stood at a distance before. It isn’t like He finally made His presence an option. This is just the first time that I have run into His goodness so desperately. This is the first time that I have so fully embraced His faithful, gentle love and kindness.

Somehow, this amazing new dose of pain that I’ve been swallowing has produced something good. When my heart cried out for Him in the midst of my greatest loss, He drew my heart into His presence. Praise the Lord for His perfect leadership in bringing my heart to the place where it would cry out to Him!!!

My joy and my peace are not contingent upon my circumstances. They have sprung out of His nearness in my life.

I am still weak and growing. I don’t walk flawlessly in the perfect grace that He has given to me. I am still stubbornly and pridefully independent. I still have those moments when I try to pull it all together and stand on my own two feet. I still have that arrogant propensity to snub the grace that He has set before me. And that is when my joy gets stolen. That is when my peace fades and I find fear and anxiety overshadowing my heart. I don’t like those times.

Now that I have so deeply tasted real peace and confidence… living hope and joy… I recognize when I’ve walked away from it. This has twice happened in a significant way since my mother’s death. Again… I didn’t like it. But God was so faithful to draw near when I cried out for His presence again.

I am learning to lean. I am learning to cling to God and God alone. I am learning to trust Him. How I long to abide in Him without wavering!!!


One comment

  1. I think Stuart may be on to something 🙂
    True joy is derived from faith and love for the God who created us. Faith and trust in God bring the assurance of a support that will never fade or weaken. With that assurance comes the peace of mind that whatever happens, a human being is never alone. God, who loves him, is always with him to help and support him. No material possession or glory can bring that unfailing assurance of support.

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