Surprised by Joy!

I laughed so hard today, I almost cried.  For awhile, I couldn’t talk.  At times, I could hardly breathe.

I was JOY-FULL!!!

You spoke of the power of Your Joy, Lord, after the Babylonian captivity, when Your people had finished rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem.  They had accomplished this feat despite fierce opposition, often persevering while holding their tools in one hand and their weapons in the other.  When the wall was completed, they worshipped You through the reading of Your Word from daybreak to noon.  And they wept.  But You said, through their governor Nehemiah:

“This day is holy to the Lord your God.  Do not mourn or weep… Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  (Nehemiah 8:9b)

Were they were weeping from relief, Lord?  Or profound gratitude?  Perhaps even conviction over the heart conditions that led to their ancestors’ exile in the first place?  Or even their own sense of unworthiness before You?  Maybe all of the above… AND the sheer JOY of knowing that You had been with them?!

“When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.”  (Nehemiah 6:16)

Maybe that’s why a precious client and I were both laughing so hard today.  Because we, too, knew that You were right here with us... speaking in profound ways that “branded” the lessons into our spirits for what we believe will be the rest of our lives!

All because of the spiritual significance of a raccoon???!!!

Your lessons for my client were profoundly personal, Lord — too personal to share here.  But we both were “blown away” by Your orchestration of every detail that led up to those lessons!  Her seeing a BIG raccoon in a parking lot two weeks earlier at the very moment we were on the phone together.  So I would hear her exclaim her shock and wonder, “What is THAT doing here?”

Hmm… the very question that got me thinking:  “What is that raccoon doing there?”

I am not a prophet.  I do not have the gift of prophesy (at least as far as I know at this point).  But You do speak to me often, Lord, through nature.  And I know that, more often than not, what is happening in the natural realm is a reflection of what is happening in the spiritual realm.  So I couldn’t help but think there must some spiritual significance to this particular raccoon….

And there was!  But I didn’t find it via Google.  When I tried that search engine, all I saw were links to interpretations by New Agers and/or Native American animal spirit “gods”… all of which I completely ignored.  Why seek wisdom from any other “god” (small “g”) when I can go directly to You, Lord — the One True God?!

“You shall have no other gods before Me.”  (Exodus 20:3)

So I researched, instead, the biological and behavioral characteristics of raccoons — characteristics that have been observed and studied by naturalists and zoologists.  And what I found was AMAZINGLY SIGNIFICANT!!!  Especially when You led me to particular Scriptures pointing to the spiritual significance of those characteristics!!!

You should know, after all… You created them!

But what surprised us more than anything was how profoundly personal and perfectly timed these insights were, in light of my client’s present journey!!!  So what else could we do but laugh so hard, we almost cried?!  Laugh so hard that, for awhile, we couldn’t talk?!  Laugh so hard that, at times, we couldn’t breathe?!

What will You think of next, Lord???   🙂   🙂   🙂

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name; make known among the nations what He has done.  Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts.  Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.”  (1 Chronicles 16:8-10)

Joy-FULL still…

Abba’s Girl

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