I'm so glad you've stopped by my blog! I am a Women's Minister and a former Pastor's Wife. I love finding God in my regular-everyday-stuff. I struggle with keeping up with the laundry, I love blogging, and my kids are my first line of ministry. I am recently widowed. So God and I are on a brand new journey as I try to find peace and understanding. Please grab a cup of coffee and let's get to know one another as we journey on our faith walk together.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Restored Joy

I love my quiet house in the morning.  I can actually hear the AC pouring through the vents, I can hear the trees as the wind gently blows through them outside my window... these are sounds that I don't hear during the hustle & bustle of my day.  It's during these quiet few moments that I can also hear God speak to my spirit.

This morning, I saw a really short but meaningful verse in Nehemiah.  It's all about joy & restoration.

Nehemiah 12:43 (b) (ESV)
 ...And the joy of Jerusalem 
was heard far away.

Okay, let me give you a little bit of context & background here.  The exiled children of Israel have been allowed to return from Babylon back to Jerusalem to rebuild their temple & their city.  Nehemiah has led the charge to rebuild the wall of the city and it's finally complete.  Choirs have been positioned at every corner of the wall and they are praising and rejoicing that God has delivered, rebuilt, and restored their home & their people.

As I read this verse, I got a visual of many Israelites singing and truly being joyful that they had finally made it home and were free to worship their God!  They worshiped and praised the God who delivered them - who restored them.

This verse inspired me to truly praise God and be joyful for the restoration He's provided for me as well.  I think far too often we pray for God to heal us, to rebuild our brokenness, to restore our homes and then when He does - we just go about our day, as if all that were a normal every day occurrence!

The children of Israel took massive amounts of time and energy to be joyful for their restoration.  Check out Nehemiah and you'll see the detail that was put into praising God for the deliverance He provided them.

This morning, I let my Lord know that not only am I grateful and joyful for the rebuilding and restoring He has provided - but that I want it to be "heard far away!"  Not for my sake... but so others can see what a great, loving, compassionate God I serve.

Now I know that I'm not going to stand on a city wall... so what does this look like for me, in my neck of the woods, in 2010?  I believe that smiles go WAY further than we think.  Do I "look" joyful to those around me?

Also, do I share, in small & big ways, that once I was lost and now I'm found?  When those around me share with me how they are hurting do I give them the living water that will truly heal them?  Or do I just tell them I'll pray for them and go about my busy day?  I want my joy to be heard so it can lead to life!

Have you been restored or rebuilt lately?  
If so, then let your joy be heard!  

If you're still waiting on restoration - let the story of the Israelites give you hope!  Not only had their home been destroyed, but they were taken as captives to a whole other country - for years!!!  And God still brought them home, rebuilt their place of worship, reinforced their city walls and renewed their joy!  He can and wants to do the same for you!

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grandmotherpic said...

Ooh.. daughter girl...this is so good, and pretty scary. Of course you know that I read this too, (but not at 4:00 a.m.) LOL!! I just emailed your Uncle Sammy basically the same thing. That God wants us celebrate the good that He is doing in our lives because He only knows that there is an abundance of woe and despair all around us. We must openly celebrate our joy and our hope or else the world will wonder what all the hoopla over Christianity is about. Good Word today Penny & thank you for being faithful to shout it from the house top and the wall!!!

Theresa said...

I love the quiet of the morning too. While the rest of the house is sleeping I hear the hum of the A/C and the birds chirping. The sun is shining and it is a beautiful day. Thanks for the reminder to be joyful in all things.

Seams Inspired with Larri said...

Just what I needed to hear today. Thanks so much. Because of all your inspiring posts, I'm giving you the Versatile Blogger award. Visit my site to grab your button. Happy Tuesday! :o)


Sharon said...

Yes,indeed we must shout with joy our faith in Christ and the blessings we receive from it. However, we must remember to be joyful even when life's circumstances do not give us cause for rejoicing. We don't always get what we think will give us reason to celebrate. Sometimes it is very hard to "shout with joy" when you are facing difficult times. You must realize that joy comes from within you through your faith, not what is around you, that makes it possible. We can experience joy in the Lord's presence even in the midst of despair and sorrow because He is always with us. "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near" (Philippians 4:4-5). When someone sees us doing this it really makes them ask, "How do you do it?" and then the shouting can really begin. Thank you, Penny, for reminding all of us to stop and listen to what God will say to us today.

Kathy & Brent Bourg said...

Thanks Penny. I too can hear his words in the quiet of the morning before the house awakes. In these few moments blessings can be seen all around, my husband now sleeps peacefully along side me, my kid is sleeping and he is quiet for a time, my cat comes to greet me at the door. I now find the peace during the day by reading the word and late at night reading posts from friends. Brent said to tell you he agrees with your message and so do I. Will see you soon. Your post is again an inspiration to read.

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