Joy comes

Lamentations 3 - God poured on the trouble and hard times. BUT, there's one other thing I am remembering that gives me a grip on hope: God's loyal love couldn't have run out, His merciful love couldn't have dried up. They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over). He's all I've got left.  God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It's a good thing when you're young to stick it out through the hard times. When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face. The "worst" is never the worst. Why? Because the Master won't ever walk out and fail to return. God's got my back.  ~ from A String of Pearls, a group of women reading through the Bible from cover to cover this year and discussing it online
When things look black, I still know God is with me (hasn't He promised never to leave me or forsake me?).  But it is easy to give in to the hopelessness of life on a cursed earth.  It is easy to believe that nothing will ever come out right here on this whirling piece of granite.  Yet, He is so often merciful, greasing the wheels of these messy relationships we humans face here on earth.  Tonight was more proof - proof that looking away from the person you are experiencing conflict with and toward the Throne, where all can be redeemed, forgiven...that relieves the pressure and reminds everyone that you are on a common mission.  I am thankful tonight to report that my heart is at peace.  God is good.  He is so good to us.  And I am praising God to serve side by side with people who are willing to cloak themselves in humility and look toward the Throne for counsel when the road gets rough.

Lord I have a heavy burden of all I've seen and know
It's more than I can handle
But your word is burning like a fire shut up in my bones
and I cannot let it go

And when I'm weary and overwrought
with so many battles left unfought
I think of Paul and Silas in the prison yard
I hear their song of freedom rising to the stars
And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them

Lord it's all that I can't carry and cannot leave behind
it often overwhelms me
but when I think of all who've gone before and lived the faithful life
their courage compels me
when I'm weary and overwrought
with so many battles left unfought

I see the shepherd Moses in the Pharoah's court
I hear his call for freedom for the people of the Lord
And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them

I see the long quiet walk along the Underground Railroad
I see the slave awakening to the value of her soul

I see the young missionary and the angry spear
I see his family returning with no trace of fear

I see the long hard shadows of Calcutta nights
I see the sister standing by the dying man's side

I see the young girl huddled on the brothel floor
I see the man with a passion come and kicking down the door

I see the man of sorrows and his long troubled road
I see the world on his shoulders and my easy load

And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them

~When the Saints, Sara Groves~
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