How Do We Respond to Life?

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

~Nehemiah 8:10

This has been quite a season.

Fires, floods, heat waves and other storms wrack our country. It's amazing the perspective we gain when such gigantic, uncontrollable things happen; reminding us that our problems are not quite as large as they perhaps looked.

Others fight health battles that are never-ending and seem larger than even the natural disasters on TV.

So what does it mean? How do we respond?

With so much sadness and so many daily burdens to shoulder, how do Christian women maneuver steadily through this journey of life with joy and peace of heart intact? What does it look like to be a woman filled with joy, every day, all the time, no matter what? In the deluge of all the stresses and disappointments in a fallen world, how does a mature Christian woman really walk in the power of the Holy Spirit? How does she face each situation with gladness, despite the relentless and demanding day-after-day, month-after-month, year-after-year things that would rob her of emotional and creative energy, such as chores, bills, arguments, messes? Or how does she maintain joy in the center of more devastating troubles: a divorce, the tragic death of a loved-one, a child who has a chronic illness or disability, rejection by family members, alcoholism and drug-related scars, a job layoff?

Then the Lord reminded me: I need to dance.

He wants me to dance inside my heart, no matter what is going on outside in my circumstances. To dance is to celebrate life, to make merry, to physically live out the reality of internal joy. Those who walk closely with the Lord have a secret inner joy, a dancing energy just from knowing Him. It is in having Him as my partner, in letting Him take the lead, that I will be directed around the "dance floor" of my life. He is the One who will show me the steps, how to listen to the music, how to engage my heart with him and to stay in sync with Him, the real Source of the music, the dance, and the everlasting joy.

We live here on earth, a place broken by sin. Our lives are deeply affected by that, and there's no way around it but hand in hand with the Lord, searching for His beauty and bringing what we can of it into the midst of our days. And so today, once again, I choose to dance, to sing, to make music in my heart for Him. Because He holds it all in His hands--including me.