"Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me." Psalm 51:12 (NIV)
My daughter, Evie, had her first day of Nursing School yesterday. I called her to see how her class went, and she was just jubilant! She loved it! She was talking so fast I could hardly process what she was saying. She has a great advisor! She knows a couple of girls in her clinical group! She can't wait for labs and clinicals!! There was more...but I don't need to recount it all for you. Just know, the girl was excited!
It just made me to smile...to know that my baby girl has found her calling, to know that God has gifted her to minister to others, and that she has found the place where all that can be realized. Then I lifted a prayer for her, that when the day comes and the work gets tough...or the task gets yucky...or the patient is unappreciative...or she just gets tired...that whatever happens, she'll remember the calling, remember the joy.
That caused me to think about the sermon I heard on Sunday evening. The pastor was reading from Revelation 2:4 and talking about the danger of losing our "first love." At the point of salvation, there is an indescribable joy that we just want to share with others. We could just bubble over with it. But as we walk the pathways of life, sometimes we forget that joy...perhaps can't even find that joy...no longer share with others about that joy.
That's when we need to trigger that memory. We need to get into His Word and be reminded of His unfailing love. (Do you know that in just a quick search, I found 26 times in the book of Psalms the mention of God's unfailing love!?!?!?!) That's tremendous encouragement! We need to remember that "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed (no matter what life throws our way), for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is [His] faithfulness." There is no limit to His love, His compassion, His mercies, His grace, His forgiveness. And do you know what else there is no limit to? The Holy Spirit within us (John 3:34)! And do you know what the second fruit of the Spirit is? JOY!!! Let's maintain the joy through His Word!
Our precious Heavenly Father, thank you for your unfailing love! We ask that You "restore to [us] the joy of Your salvation"! And please sustain that joy by Your Spirit within us and through Your Word to us! Draw us to Yourself...don't allow us to forget the thrill of our "first love." And don't ever let us forget that You loved us first!