“O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water. Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You. So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.” (Psalm 63:1–5, NASB) Early this year we were invited for dinner by a Korean couple, the husband of which works for the same mission as Sven. After a delicious Korean meal, during a conversation, Hannah (the wife) asked me how I was doing with the change of moving from France to Germany. I truthfully told her it’s not always easy, but I try to remember something my Mama has reminded me: to bloom where I’m planted. Hannah smiled and showed me a plaque on their bookshelf that said, “Wo Gott dich hingesät hat, da sollst du blühen” (German translation of the phrase). I almost teared up right then and there. God knew I so needed to hear that again. When I see my sisters and their families hanging out together and with our parents, it can be easy for me to be a little (or a lot) envious. Or sometimes I long for the days of living in Paris, where it was so easy to go out to see and do things (before the crazy days of quarantine and social distancing, of course). For my birthday Hannah sent me a plaque with that very phrase! It’s a daily reminder that I’m right where God wants me (and my family) to be and that I’m supposed to grow and thrive in the things He has given me to do. And these are things I should be doing with joy, not with a bad or discontented attitude. No matter where my family and I live, I need to be seeking Him earnestly and thirsting for Him. My yearning should be for God and not focus so much on what I’m missing out on. Yes, I will always miss my family in Hawaii and beautiful Paris, but God is always right here with me. Although sometimes I do a terrible job of it, I know that being in God's Word daily and spending intentional time with Him refreshes and satisfies my soul. Joy comes from trusting that God knows what He’s doing and abiding in Him. The more I press into the Lord and His love, the more I experience His joy with hands raised and lips singing His praises. In Christ, Jazz Becker
I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely. For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to [l]undergo decay. You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”
(Psalm 16:8–11, NASB)
Take some time to reflect on how the Lord has been working in/through you lately. What is He doing that causes you to rejoice?
“Fullness of joy” is found in the presence of God; how may you need to re-prioritize your day so that you daily spend time in His presence?