“…Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”” Nehemiah 8:10
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” Phil. 4:4
When I noticed a man staring from his vehicle from a little distance away in a grocery store parking lot through which I was walking with my wheelchair dogs, I couldn’t help but turn the dogs around and walk over to him. That way, he could look at the dogs up close as people so often like to do when they see them, and I could see what the Lord might have in store given how often He uses the dogs to introduce me to people to talk to about Him.
Within minutes, the man shared briefly his miraculous story. But it wasn’t just his story that blew me away. It was yet another miracle that went with it.
In a nutshell, as he stayed seated in the driver’s seat waiting for his family to get in the vehicle, this is what he told me. Survivor of Vietnam. Survivor of 911. Survivor of being hit by a fire truck. He had apparently been drawn to look at the wheelchair dogs because of his own experience with a massive injury to what I guessed to be his spine.
The miracle man. One miracle after another. We talked briefly about the Lord and learning to walk by faith. We all have our stories. We all have our challenges. Some so much harder than others. Some filled with miracles. Like the miracle man with whom I spoke. The miracle man whose perhaps greatest miracle from God was this.
When I looked at his face, I saw something unbelievable given all he had been through. I saw JOY. And I asked him this.
“Is that the joy of the Lord?” I said.
His answer came quickly.
No matter our stories, friend, no matter our challenges, when we have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and we set our eyes and hearts upon the Lord and on His Word, we can have what the miracle man had that day despite all he had gone through.
The joy of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Got joy? The joy of Jesus?