The Joy of the Lord is my Strength
May 29, 2013 § Leave a comment
On the afternoon of Thursday May 9, 2013… I wasn’t in a good mood.
By evening, I had attended an Open Door and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship Barbecue. This was the last event for our semester before the beginning of summer. There were so many people at this event… they were all so overwhelming.
I didn’t want to engage in conversations with any of the new faces, so I decided to sit down on a picnic blanket with my friend Natasha and the Birthday girl. I told them I didn’t feel like socializing with everyone because I wasn’t feeling so well. My introvert personality was taking over. Natasha patted to a spot beside her and opened her left arm toward me and said, “You can sit beside me and we can sit in silence.” I replied, “No, it’s okay. I don’t feel like socializing with others, but I don’t mind talking to you.” I told her that I wanted to set up my slack line, but I didn’t know where to put it… I wanted a place where it was less populated with people, and a place where the trees are lined up with the perfect amount of space in between them. I said to her, “I don’t feel like setting it up right now, but maybe after I eat and after the line for the food dies down.” Natasha finished her food and insisted I put up. So I did as she requested. We found a tree and set it up with the help of a few others.
Finally, the slack line was set. I walked on the line and immediately my whole body relaxed… My troubles disappeared. I became free of my worries and anxieties. I received great joy from walking on a thin line and with this joy, a deep passion rose from within me. It was this passionate joy that gave me the strength to carry on and to not be defeated by my own struggles.
May 13, 2013.
Today after doing an at site orientation and tour, I found myself feeling fatigued, weak, and drained. I was hydrated, but I was hungry. My lack of iron and food in my body made me weak – or so that’s what I thought. We came back to the school (at KidsAlive) and ate lunch. My stomach was filled and then I fell asleep. I took a nap for an hour and a half thinking i would be regenerated with energy. When I woke up, I felt weak and gross, I felt even worse than before I took the nap. I climbed out of my bed and walked over to the hallway with my water bottle. I sat down leaning against the wall, refilled my water bottle from the water machine and drank. I was not feeling so great.
I thought about how I was feeling weak and fatigue; and the food I ate didn’t seem to give me the energy I needed. The nap didn’t give me rest, but instead made everything worse.
Contemplating thoughts in my head…. “What do I need to do to gain strength and to do some work? I came here to work and if I am weak and fatigue, how will I work? I’ll be useless.”
I was on the verge of tears, feeling defeated by this physical illness. I did not cry and I firmly said to myself like a promise, “I will still work even if I do collapse.” I stood up and walked downstairs.
Another thought came to me. I have learnt to rebuke spiritual and mental feelings, but this physically feeling was challenging me at a whole other level. If the food I eat and the rest I get from sleeping gives me no strength, where can I get my strength from to continue on? From God? It’s been a long time since i have trusted God to give me strength.
Our team left to paint at the orphanage. I was fine painting and sometimes while working I had the occasional head rushes when I stood up, so I tried to stay low and if i needed to stand up again, I would do it slowly. When we had finished painting, I noticed Josiah playing with Nathan’s water bottle. Josiah had been opening and closing the lid to the bottle. I would say, “Open” and Josiah would open the lid, then I would say, “Close” and Josiah would close the lid. He was having a joyous time, and his joy brought me joy. He was having fun over a simple thing in which I didn’t understand.
I noticed I didn’t feel that weak as I was earlier. It may be because of the less strain of work. Painting was relaxing to me, but even so my strength was coming from somewhere else.
This evening during the Debrief, I had recognized that Josiah’s Joy was from the Lord.
The joy of the lord is my strength… and it was… and is now.