Saturday, November 5, 2011

What Happened to My Joy

I don't know about you, but sometimes I have to stop and access my spiritual condition. It's amazing how easy it is for life to sneak up on you and steal the very gifts God gives you. This past month I learned why 1 Peter 5:8 warns  "Be alert, be reflective, because your enemy Satan roars like a lion and is walking and seeking whom he may devour."

In a month filled with great opportunities to share the message God has burned into my heart, I found myself exhausted. Now as a doctor who still actively does hospital call, I'm used to spending hours awake and having to think quickly on little sleep. However this month I found myself on the verge of collapse from pure exhaustion. One night I was so drained I went to bed at 7:30pm and did not wake until 12 hours later. Honestly, I wouldn't have awaked then but my sons were yelling at me to get up and take them to school. What happened to my strength?

During this month I found myself laughing less and playing games with my sons less. Days were filled with PowerPoint presentations, writing magazine articles, recording radio interviews and other things I usually enjoy, however this month each one of them seemed more like a chore. My excitement of sharing God's truths was growing dimmer by the minute. What happened to my joy?

I found myself in a place in my past that I had once overcome, a place of striving and works. But in my comfort of being out of that place I failed to realize my enemy was still "seeking whom he may devour". In October he was trying to devour me. He was using the very blessings God had placed in my life to devour my strength, my joy, and my peace. Thankfully God's Spirit helps us to discern when we are off track and moving away from God's best.

So sitting in my hotel room alone in Milford Pennsylvania getting ready to speak to hundreds of women at the Iron Sharpens Iron Women's Retreat about living an abundant life in God, I was running on empty. I am convinced God set aside that time to fill me again. Verse by verse, He met me where I was. He did not criticize me for allowing myself to get so low, rather he held me with these words.

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Nehemiah 8:10 Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Isaiah 55:6 Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.

1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!

I was a bruised reed, but instead of breaking me He lifted me up. Every scripture taking me deeper into fellowship with Him. Repeatedly His word reminded me of my true calling. Above my ministry of healing, above my writing ministry, even above my family; I am a seeker and my primary role is to seek Him. Seeking Him is not a chore, but an invitation. It's my invitation to roar back at the enemy, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:26


  1. Saundra, I have had the same experience over the past month. October is a difficult month anyway because of things from the past, but after my computer got the virus and crashed, I was playing catch-up because of all the extra work. Then I got sick. Today I was really sick -- from exhaustion. That's what it took to get my attention.

    I must learn to wait on the Lord, as you, and know He loves me, and that we live and breathe and have our being in Him. Yes, slow down, and love Him, who renews us each day. A great post, just in tune with what God is speaking to my heart. Another reminder of what He wants from me. To spend time with Him.

  2. Great post Saundra. Man was created on the sixth day and so the first day that he lived was the seventh day which God said rest. It is vitally important that we pursue rest when we are active in our lives or we will lose everything. Thankfully the Lord stopped you and repositioned you before that became your reality.

  3. "I found myself in a place in my past that I had once overcome, a place of striving and works."
    A truly wonderful post, Saundra. Thank you for sharing your heart. I've found that even the simplest verses hit the mark when I need them the most. You quoted Nehemiah 8:10 ~ ...the joy of the Lord is your strength ~ that was one of the verses the Lord placed on my heart earlier this year when I was struggling. Praise God we have His Word and His promises!
    Cheers to you :)

  4. Hi! Stopping by and now following you from the FBH. Have a wonderfully blessed day!