Years ago, when the children of a good friend of mine were very small, they would say a phrase to each other that has stuck with me throughout the years. When one of the children was upset with the others, he would say they were "stealing his joy". I would smile and inwardly chuckle as it was a sweet way to express their annoyance with each other. But, as I have thought about it over the years I have wondered how often it is that our joy is actually "stolen". I don't mean our "happiness", but instead, joy - joy in the Lord. You see, true joy is a gift from God and can only fade when we take our eyes off of Him. That kind of joy can't be taken from us unless we allow it to be. Happiness is dependent upon our circumstances, but joy happens in spite of them.
but now I have seen you with my own eyes"
Thank you, Father, for your hand on my life. When I was younger, I didn't truly understand who you were. But as you have brought me through different seasons in my life, my eyes have been opened to your presence. I praise you for your strength and power, wisdom and love! You are so worthy and I yield myself to you!
In your powerful name,