This weekend, my emotions got the best of me. Shocking, I know. (I know I'm not alone, here!) Chad and I traveled to the land of baby overload -Babies "R" Us - to purchase some remaining items I felt were essential to procure before baby Nora's arrival. I found myself to be in possession of a very generous gift card that could, for an undetermined reason, only be used on diapers, wipes, or formula. We needed diapers-perfect-except for the specific diapers we were looking for were not available in store. No problem, I'd order them online. Simple enough. However, said gift card could not be used online. As I type this, I'm experiencing no emotional response to those series of events. But last night, after a long, exhausting day, these events caused the waterworks to flow! Along with the tears came every doubt of my ability to mother well. (Hormones, I tell you!) Chad tried to snap me out of my emotional crisis, but I chose to stay there.
This morning, I read over my lesson for our church's children's class. The lesson, in line with exploring the fruits of the spirit, spoke of joy-primarily choosing joy when your emotions and circumstances choose otherwise. In Acts, Paul and Silas chose joy when they were beaten and imprisoned for sharing the gospel. They didn't mope in their cell, but instead prayed and same songs of praise. The Lord's joy was their strength, and He honored them for their choice. They were freed, welcomed into the guard's home for dinner and a bath, and went on their way to continue sharing the gospel. Paul and Silas trusted in God's promise for their life, their path, and He did not fail them.
So, today, when I taught a classroom of children about joy, I wasn't the teacher. God was the teacher and I was the student. If only I can remember that every day.
Nehemiah 8:10 "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!'" (NLT)