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Asking for Joy

by PAULA ROBERTS JOY Balancing ministry, family, & life
Asking for Joy
"Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days."
Psalms 90:14

Not once but twice, forty years times two, Moses was surrounded by sand, heat, and wilderness. Forty years times two, he waited. 

In those first desert years, we aren’t told if Moses knew when his exodus would end, but the end for his desert life re-run was prophesied. The conditions were in place: a generation had to die. Each breath of those who had shaped his life now chained him to blistering heat and grit. All the mothers, all the fathers, probably most aunts, uncles, and even some siblings had to gasp their last breath before his future could begin. It’s painful to imagine Moses as he interacted with anyone over 20 years old. Did resentment, impatience, compassion, and grief collide in his veins? 

Honoring and loving, yet waiting. I find myself in the same place. Back from the field to care for an elder, I wonder how a life of promised ministry can now happen. I don’t dismiss the sanctity of this mission, but I struggle with the unknowns.

Daily the manna comes. I rehash His truths over and over: He is faithful, He is sovereign, He is my dwelling place, He knows, He sees, He cares, He is working, He is pruning, His plans are good, and on and on. Then Moses’ words in Psalm 90, written after hearing that he would once again face 40 years of life in a desert, give me new perspective. Mixed in with the dead honesty of the suffering around him, Moses prayed specifically. He asked for wisdom for himself and those around him. He asked for compassion from God. He asked for joy. He asked for satisfaction. Moses even went so far as to ask that the work of his hands be established. 

This asking implicitly acknowledged that Moses knew Who contained the answers. I see clearly how Moses trusted God with all aspects of his heart. Moses honored God as God and didn’t pet his fear by trying to manufacture satisfaction, joy, or even purpose by himself. Even though Moses probably didn’t like or totally understand God’s ways, he trusted God to bring value from the life and death that was playing out around him.  

Can’t I, like Moses, do this, too? In the desert of death and waiting, my trust deepens as my prayers rise. You, Oh Lord, are the answer. Satisfy me, I pray.

Closing Prayer
Mighty Father, maker of the desert, your plans for me always turn toward good. May I humbly trust you when so much of what I see and feel is sand and heat. Lord, please satisfy me daily. May your manna not taste of monotony but of Your sweetness. May I be thankful for the joy that comes in the deepening of faith and the revelations you bring in the waiting. Amen.
Activity: Emotion Wheel Like Moses, it can be helpful to spell out to God the emotions that are going on in my heart. I find this chart helps me identify what’s really going on inside my spirit, so I can gain His perspective. Often I ask Him to show me His truth regarding these emotions so I can keep my thoughts in line with His. Note: While I like this chart on emotions, I haven’t looked further into the author’s writings and am not endorsing him.
Article: Toward a Theology of Emotion by Biblical Counseling Coalition This theology on emotions is a long read with parts I don’t entirely understand, but it helps me understand the role of emotions in my life. I find it to be comforting and encouraging.
Question for Reflection

With Covid-19, the inability to make future plans has been real for all of us. How has God brought you joy in the midst of the “wait”?

Paula Roberts
May 04, 2021

In the midst of the wait, I take great comfort in knowing that God trains us for our own good. God tells us that “no discipline at the time is pleasant” (Hebrews 12:11), and this knowledge makes me more patient with my, at times, disgruntled reaction to current life. I don’t dismiss my (possible) sin, but when I see myself in God’s training camp it helps me be honest with my emotions and with God. This honesty leads me to further trust and subsequent joy.

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