Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Untainted Joy

Before you read this blog post, please read Psalm 23.

I'm praising my Lord today for the way He continually leads me beside still waters and restores my soul.  Still waters; the concept has intrigued me often.  

As a young girl my family and I had the pleasure of camping on a few occasions.  My mom and dad liked to go to "The Secret Spot" where my grandfather used to fish.  There was a dam there and the waters flowed steadily over the stoney wall creating a bubbling, gurgling hum that carried with it tales of where the waters had been.  It was a great place to dream and imagine, as I rested on the banks with the sun's kiss barely able to reach me through the thick canopy of trees. 

I always liked to go to The Secret Spot, but at night when it was time to rest, I found it difficult to sleep with the river's chatter.  I had never guessed that the sounds that had been so beautiful to me while lying on that bank, would become an annoying distraction that would hinder my rest.  

Such is the way of many things in life.  For a time, they seem beautiful, and you appreciate them for what they are worth in the moment.  But to linger too long can lead to regret later on.  Like a shepherd who knows to graze his sheep in various places, so God leads us to new green pastures where we can be refreshed.  As it says in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, there is a time and season for everything.  Learning to trust The Shepherd and hold His blessings with an open hand, is a key lesson in the life of a person with untainted joy.

It is no wonder to me that so many people have no rest in their souls.  Their days and minds are filled up with the to-do's of life to the point where they have no capacity for the simple pleasures of meaningful godly conversation or a quiet walk on a sunny fall day.  But if we take a moment to think about the things that "restore" our souls, it is quietness that usually comes to mind first, and after that it is meaningful relationships.  I'm not talking about the kind of life sucking relationships where lying, divisive, gossiping tongues reign.  They don't foster peace at all.  No, that kind of relationship is one from which you should be thankful to distance yourself.  God has taught me this.  And with this lesson, untainted joy became my reward.  He leads us to quiet waters.

The Good Shepherd continually guides us along right paths for His name's sake.  But even still, there may be some dark valleys that He leads us through.  But in spite of this, the one who trusts in Him will have untainted joy.  Even in the presence of their enemies, those who hope in Him fear no evil, though it is sure to come, for our enemy seeks to destroy our joy.  

His poison seeps into our lives via any avenue it can, continually trying to corrupt every good thing God has given us.  It is responsible for every failed relationship, every selfish disposition, every snide remark, every prideful response, every puffed up mind and every accusing, divisive tongue.   They are all forms of Satan's poison, and the intent of their use is to steal, kill and destroy so that any joy we might have is tainted with hurt and regret.   But God comforts and restores my soul.  He can restore yours too. 

I am filled with praise for my Heavenly Father, because He continues to lead me to green pastures of peace and untainted joy, in spite of the enemy's intent.  I will sing of His goodness.  I will tell of His love.  He has given me the gift of sharing in the ministry of Truth and I am humbled to be called His own.  

No comments: