thoughts in the fall of 2016
I started this blog back in 2009, after I had undergone a period of spiritual darkness and then a great uplifting of soul—how can I even say it? The Lord had revealed Himself to me and shown me who He really is, and who I really am, in Him. For the previous several years, the Word of God had been opening to me in a way I hadn’t seen it before, and I was seeing Jesus.
At the same time, 2009, I was beginning to write my Hidden Heroes series of true missionary stories, which have been—I can’t even really describe it—such an encouragement to see the way the Lord is working all over the world. How He is revealing Himself in utterly surprising and even astonishing ways to people of all tribes and tongues and nations and languages.
So at that time, my desire was to spill out what the Lord was giving me, both in my time alone with Him, and through the missionary stories I was writing.
Eventually the missionary books and other biographies I write for children were upgraded to have their own website, which you can see here.
So then this blog was simply for my devotional thoughts. If a few friends read it, I was happy. If one person said, “That really helped me,” I was ecstatic. When I got eight comments on a blog post once, I was bowled over.
But the Lord has a way of turning things around and upside down and inside out, you know what I’m talking about?
“You’ve found all your joy in Me,” He said.
“Yes, Lord,” I answered. “I have.”
“You’ve seen the darkness,” He said. “You know about the darkness.”
“My joy is your strength,” He said. “Now I’ll take you even farther, to the darkest places. Continue to find all your strength in Me.”
So if a blog called “Here’s the Joy” sometimes sounds a bit like grappling and wrestling, it’s only because of where the Lord has taken me. I still know He is the source of all joy, and I’m thankful, over and over, to drink of His Living Water, and to offer a cup of that cool water in His Name.
If I sound too strident when I speak, forgive me. Know that I spend time—behind the blog posts—in tears.
Yes, ironic, I know, for a blog called “Here’s the Joy.” An enigma, I suppose.
But can we hold them both at the same time? Knowing of the great evil being perpetrated in the world by the wicked—on an intensely personal level—and at the same time knowing the deep riches of joy that are to be found in Jesus Christ?
I believe Jesus did.
Let’s follow Him together.