I wrote this in May of 2016 and, for whatever reason, I never actually posted it. It just sat in my drafts...until now. Because Joy is something worth sharing about. Enjoy!
"Oh!" I gasped as I looked down at the street from the second story window. "It's raining! Look how beautiful it makes the world!"
My friend laughed. "You're cute, you know that? Most people dislike rain."
Later, as we prayed, my friend said, "Thank you, Lord, for giving Yaasha such joy..."
And it hit me like a spray of sunlight through clouds. My joy was a gift.
I have always been confused by the phrases that Christians commonly use, and one of the most confusing to me is the phrase “just trust the Lord.” It is very good theology, but to my practical mind, it seems like an exceedingly abstract concept. How, specifically, does one trust the Lord?
One day, I asked God to explain to me the meaning of trusting Him.
The answer came in the form of a question.
“If you trusted Me, what would you do?”
Do? Well, that’s easy to answer!
It is high time to prune our grapes. On my parents’ land, a crumbling arbor of wood and metal mesh supports the weight of a network of vines. As the summer deepens, the grapes swell to their full size, becoming dusky purple fruits that pop with flavors both tart and sweet. I love our grapes, but they are overgrown.
Our neighbor’s grapes, on the other hand, look very different.
Some years ago, my family decided to begin celebrating the Jewish feast of Passover—not simply the day of the feast, but also the entire week. This meant a full 7 days of eating absolutely no pork products (like pepperoni or sausage) or leaven (like yeast or baking soda).
When I first joined my high school cross-country running team, I had a bad habit of looking at my feet. Partially, this was due to the fact that the school cross-country course included a narrow path that meandered through the forest, snaring runners with roots and puddles and the occasional gopher-hole. With so many obstacles, how could Inot watch where I was going?
But looking at my feet had an unintended consequence: It slowed me down. There was no way to race effectively and watch my step at the same time. Necessity forced me to make a choice: either accept the fact that I may trip, or never discover my true speed.
This first appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of Incorruptible Beauty, a quarterly newsletter for Christian women. It was originally entitled "The Great Dog Disappointment."
My Dream Dog
When I was in my early to mid-teens, I wanted a dog. I knew exactly what kind I wanted. I flipped through a dog breed book until I found it: an alert, bright-eyed dog with almost cat-like grace and a mane of soft black fur. It was called the Groenendael, more commonly known as the Belgian Sheepdog.
Our relationship with the Lord is the doorway to all other relationships. This relationship must become the basis for relationships with others, so that our relationships will be strong and long-lasting.
Of course, we will always struggle to love the Lord as He ought to be loved. We will not always feel a spiritual sense of closeness to Him. But loving God is not about feeling lovingly toward Him; it is about acting in a way that demonstrates our love for Him. I once confessed to my father, “I feel like I don’t love the Lord anymore. I feel like I’m just doing what He wants me to do out of habit and not because I love Him.”
My father asked, “What’s wrong with that?”
At the time, it seemed barbaric that I could obey God out of habit rather than out of love, but as time went on, I began to see what my father had meant.
None of my life has gone the way it was "supposed to go," but I don't love my life any less because of the hardships and new directions. I see so much unexpected good in it, and I want others to see the good in theirs.