Through my life, there aren’t very many memories that I can easily recall, but the ones that stand out so vividly are the ones that have changed me. A few years ago, a man walked into the front doors of our church in Amherstburg and I greeted him, welcoming him to the church. I knew pretty quickly that I recognized him as a customer at a local grocery store that I worked at. So, he continued attending the church over the next couple of months and we would talk from time to time. One day, the man approached me after church and began telling me that as he came through my till at the grocery store throughout the years, he noticed that over time something had changed in my demeanour. Since then, he had always wondered why that happened. I asked him to explain a little more about what he meant, and he said that I was more joyful. I was happier and I had a genuine smile. I asked him about when he started to notice this change in me and he told me it was the spring of 2010. I was amazed and told him that in May of that year, I gave my heart to the Lord and my life had been changed. I couldn’t believe that this man recognized the change in me!
As the years go on and the pain of life’s trials becomes more real, I feel that I have been losing that joy that was once so evident. Recently, our Pastor has been taking the congregation on a journey of restoring our joy from the inside out. He challenged us to find our joy from feeding our Spirit and spending time with the Lord instead of being tossed around by the trials of daily life. I’m learning that life will never be perfect but even through the difficulty; I can still have the joy of the Lord. Lately, my prayer has been, ‘Restore in me the joy of my salvation’, as I fix my eyes on Jesus and walk with Him in the midst of life’s storms. I challenge you women, to ponder on the questions “What gives me joy?” and “Is my joy evident to others?”
As we enter the Christmas season, be reminded of Jesus’ birth. Become joyful that he has saved you from your sins, and has called you to an eternal life with him!
Rachel is a Christ follower, a wife to a Youth Pastor, and a mother of a one year old. She is a Child and Youth Worker at the Women’s Shelter in Chatham-Kent. Her family attends at Evangel Community Church and has a passion for young people. She enjoys long walks on the beach and warm chocolate brownies.