Thanksgiving 2019. There was an obvious void at the Thanksgiving table due to consequences of someone’s bad choices. So, I spent the time with family, friends who are family. We ate too much and laughed a lot. Good times.

Joy filled my steps as I walked into the church over the holiday weekend, ready for some filling worship and message. As the music started, I looked around and saw families gathered together and doing what families do. Then it hit me, the battle began. The enemy filled my mind with thoughts of how alone I was here standing in the sea of families. The void more obvious and growing as I stood there. I cried through worship. The last song was a song was about the storm and how the Lord will carry us through in His strength. I couldn’t sing but if I was going to make a stand in this battle, I would at least mouth the words. Then as I got my voice back, I declared the winner of the battle and left service that day with my joy renewed.

I took my eyes off Jesus. Just like Peter did when the Lord called him out onto the water in Matthew 14:29, “… So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus”. Think about that, in the middle of the storm, the two of them out on the water in the midst of it. Miraculous. Then Scripture tells us what happened next in verse 30, “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” When he saw the wind … his eyes were no longer on Jesus but his circumstances. And then he sank. Been there, done that!
This season, I am going to really make every effort to honor the Lord with the sacrifice of joy. I can justify a pity party but is that the gift I want to put on the altar? I will keep my eyes focused on Him and will not let myself sink into despair over what if’s and if only’s.

Father, Thank You that You are with us every step. You know our hurts and our hearts. Let us bring to You the sacrifice of joy this season and will You take that joy and multiply it.

In Jesus’ precious name we pray, Amen.

By Dawn Helms