Confession time. I’m a girl who loves some quality naps. And, let’s be honest here, is there anything better than a weekend nap? Me think-eth not!
So I was just a wee bit annoyed recently when, after only a few minutes of drooly Saturday midday slumber, I awoke with a crazy thought about a piece of scripture I’ve read about 100 times. One that, at first glance, doesn’t necessarily scream JOY!
I bolted up in bed and I scrambled to my Bible so I could read it over and over to myself and let Truth sink in.
So. There it was. Nestled into this chapter of Proverbs that I sometimes finding myself avoiding. The chapter on the “perfect woman”. The beloved/dreaded Proverbs 31; most specifically verse 15.
Um, are you kidding me? There are days when I literally scowl at the clock and have to begrudgingly pull my bod outta bed to get the day going. So, this was not exactly “good news” to me, if you hear what I’m saying. I wanted it to say something much more to my liking, say, maybe: “I should be sleeping in and having breakfast served up to me!”
Why would THIS verse wake me up from my nap?!
Then, another thought occurred to me. On a recent webcast for Women of Faith, Holly Wagner, from Oasis Church in LA, actually talked about this very verse, saying (and I’m paraphrasing here), perhaps what it’s really about is rising up out of spiritual darkness – whatever that dark battle is that you find yourself in – as soon as you realize you’ve gotten into it, and helping support the ones around you in the fight.
Now, to be completely frank with you, I’ve been in “battle” with some serious stress lately and I do think it’s a bit of a spiritual battle. Of course, I was not wanting to acknowledge it, not wanting it to get the better of me. Because acknowledging it would mean I’d have to do something about it and that just seemed a little hard for a girl who is supposed to be all about JOY right now.
So I did what I’m prone to do in these situations – I pretended it wasn’t there. And in the ignoring, I let it eat at me, sapping my energy, all the while going around like everything was status quo. Not asking for help, not telling anyone how I was coping (or NOT coping, as the case was…) until all I was, was low on joy and tired of hiding alone in the dark. I couldn’t figure out how to get myself back up.
And so, in the middle of my much loved nap time, I thought perhaps God was asking me to reconsider my disappointment with this particular verse and possibly asking me to consider that maybe it does speak of joy. Maybe God was asking me to have the courage to just stand up to the stress I was fighting, and if I did, I would be rewarded. Because rising in the dark brings about some amazing things.
Like…the sooner we rise up in the battle, the longer and stronger we learn to stand in faith.
The stronger we stand up in faith, the more courageous warriors we become.
The more courageous warriors we become, the more the power we have over the enemy.
The more power we have over the enemy, the faster he will flee.
The faster he flees, the farther God’s power will reach.
The farther God’s power reaches, the more hearts are apprehended for Christ.
The more hearts that are apprehended for Christ…well…the sooner the WAR will be over.
The sooner the war is over, the sooner we will experience PURE JOY.
So I got up. In faith and with God by my side, I rose from the stress and stood up to it. I looked it in the face, and dealt with it; watched it get smaller and smaller until it didn’t have a single leg on which to stand. And now I feel hope, peace, and joy beginning to return to my spirit.
So…let’s ALL get up. When it’s dark – as soon as we realize darkness is approaching – let’s rise up and win the battle together!
I guess it really is a little piece of joyful Good News, after all, don’t you think?!
I’m getting up early tomorrow…! 🙂
Pure Joy Summer Series 2013 Week Seven Updates:
OMGOSH! I cannot believe we are sitting here at our MID POINT of the Pure Joy Summer Series! Yes! It’s week 7 of 14. It’s going by a little quickly, I’d say! But I am the eternal optimist, so I’m looking at it like our glass is still HALF FULL!!!
Here’s what we’re doing this week:
1. Memorize/rewrite our verse of the week in your favorite format! Our verse this week is none other than the one that wrecked my Saturday nap: Proverbs 31:15! The joy is found in the rising, sweet friends! We can do it together!
2. Listen to Shawn McDonald’s awesome tune, Rise! It’s not on our list, but I think it is the perfect accompaniment for this week’s verse and posts!
3. Keep reading! Ready for a new book? Check out the list above under the Pure Joy tab. I’m rereading my ALREADY dog-earred copy of Thriving by Nancy Grisham. Ooooo doggy, it rocks my socks! (Click the link to order!)
4. RSVP for next week’s Pure Joy Dinner #2 if you haven’t already done so! The Joyous Mexican Fiesta of our FAVORITE THINGS is just around the corner and we are so excited to see you there! Email me for more information or how to come OR how to create your OWN in your area!
5. Keep up with the Joy Dare! It’s okay to miss a few days – I have; NO BIG THING! But the important thing is to regularly show gratitude to God for all He provides (even when it seems sort of dark…).
Praying for you, sweet friends! Have a great few days.
Up Thursday: Our Second “Joy Dare Round Up”!
Peace, love, and JOY!