"Enjoy your today, He has your tomorrow." These are the words I desperately needed to hear to realign my heart with The Lord and to strengthen my trust in Him. Little did I know they would also restore an overwhelming joy in my heart.
Moving into retail, I struggled to understand the slower paced days that can come with it. Having never worked in this environment, I was not prepared for days where I would actually be able to read a book, plan, strategize or just enjoy the quiet of the day. So I found myself looking for tasks to fill the time and stressing out about why my expectations for sales weren't playing out. Until very recently, I didn't realize how much of a burden this had become in my life.
The Lord showed me through a dream, its interpretation and through the aligned journey of a trusted faithful friend, that I had taken up a burden of seriousness and I began not fully trusting that He had purpose in the quiet. I was bing robbed of my joy. In the moment that He brought this awareness to me, I surrendered it and He took it! He then restored my joy, peace and trust.
That very afternoon, He affirmed the transformation of my heart. A woman, walking by the Adored storefront, briefly glanced in the window. I could see she was inclined to keep walking, but instead, she came into the store. I greeted her and asked how she was doing. She said, " I felt compelled to come in to your store. I loved the word adored, but when I saw your smile, I had to enter." Not only did that discussion turn into an opportunity for me to share my testimony, but also affirmed in my heart that the joy of The Lord was written all over my face.
Do you know the joy of The Lord? Its better than anything the world can offer us. It transforms the way we see the world and experience all our circumstances. It changes the weight in our hearts and allows a freedom like nothing else. The Lord wants us to live in His joy even during times of challenge. James 1:2-4 tells us, "Consider it a sheer gift (pure joy), friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way."
Maturing can be uncomfortable. Its through this discomfort that our relationship with God can be elevated, transforming our understanding of His character and receiving the fruit of His Spirit. If you're living without joy, ask The Lord to introduce it to your life. When He responds and you start to feel uncomfortable, trust and press in. You won't regret it!