Day 177: Hello and Goodbye (June 26)

When you enter into a new place or even a new season, there is a moment of saying “hello” to the new and “goodbye” to the old.  We all walk through this at some point and in a variety of different ways, but it’s how we walk that matters most.

Are you the type of person who is shut off and refuses to embrace change or anything new, or do you see that God moves us and shapes us in seasons of change?  I have not historically been in love with change, but what I’ve learned over many years, is to embrace wherever He leads me.

In the business we are in, jobs come and go, and people join and leave the team pretty regularly.  I’ve noticed that willingness to be content is a huge asset.  I’ve watched multiple times, as people move to one place or another, and seemed determined not to embrace a new place.  They shut themselves off and fight to go back to the old, but even upon leaving they are never happy, because it’s something inside that’s bothering them.  Joy comes from inside.  Resistance to joy also comes from inside.

This verse has really helped me see that:

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through Him Who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:11-13

God imprinted in my heart, long ago, that He wanted me to be resilient and embrace and thrive wherever He planted me.  It’s not always easy and I face rejection regularly, but it’s so worth it.  It’s worth it to walk in what He’s called me.  It’s worth it when God uses me to expand someone else’s view of Who He really is.  It’s worth it when I refuse to walk in grumbling and complaining and instead find myself in the middle of joy.  He has called me to use joy as a weapon.

Joy is not dependent upon circumstances or getting my own way.  Joy is a bubbling brook running deep inside my bones that leaves me smiling on the inside no matter what I am walking through in any given moment.  Even when I’ve faced sorrow, I still feel an underlying joy inside.  Joy is my weapon of choice now.  Just as the scripture says, the joy of the Lord is my strength.

It truly is.

That joy seems to wrap itself around every circumstance I encounter and gives me the courage and strength to fight another day.  It gives me a sense of fulfillment in any season.  It is invaluable to me.

 And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared.  This is a sacred day before our Lord.  Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”  Nehemiah 8:10

The Lord is my strength and shield.  I trust Him with all my heart.  He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.  I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.  Psalm 28:7