By Brenda Groves
The Post Newspaper Contributing Writer
I woke up.
The day had already begun remarkably well.
I sat down in a comfy chair in our living room and began to read and reflect on a verse that I had heard someone speak on.
“To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
(This happened several years ago when I was just starting to gain some understanding of God’s word).
As I sat all cuddly and warm with my mug of decaf I thought, “This verse is so good. And I really like how this part is worded: ‘A garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.’”
I stretched, rubbed my fluffy house slippers together and asked out loud, “I wonder how I would apply this to my life, Jesus. Will you please remind me of this scripture when I need it?”
Sometime later, a glance at the clock drew me back to the present where I got to my feet and went to get ready for work.
But then a series of events began to unfold.
Thud!! I bumped hard into the wall. Ouch!
Then I remembered that I had forgotten to turn the dryer on the night before, so the outfit I had chosen was a crumpled and damp mess.
I flipped on the TV to an inspirational program that I like to listen to while getting ready, but the signal was lost and I had a blank screen.
I poked my eye while applying my makeup.
My hair chose a new style called “play dead.”
I was now running about ten minutes behind.
I sloshed juice over me and the console when I got in the car.
As I headed down the street the gas light came on (and I have a 20-mile drive to work).
The gas pump I chose was out of order.
I got behind a combine machine on the highway and could not pass for about two miles (Which, by the way, felt like the speed we were traveling).
And when I got to work, I soon discovered that I had already experienced the highlights of the day, as circumstances went from bad to worse.
Several times I stopped to pray but it didn’t seem to bring any relief to me. Finally, I questioned the Lord, “What is going on here? I need your help to understand what to do.”
He spoke one word to my heart. “Laugh.”
Then I remembered, “A garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”
A SPIRIT of heaviness! This is a spiritual battle!! Then John 10:10 came to mind, “The thief (satan) comes only to steal, kill and destroy.” And Ephesians 6:10 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood …”
Satan’s purpose is to get our attention off of God and His goodness through distractions in circumstances and people in order to steal our peace and joy. He wants to shut us down because the “joy of the Lord IS our strength (Not everything bad that happens to us is directly linked to Satan, but many things are).”
Well, emotionally I wanted to run home, get back into my cuddly slippers and become absorbed into the cushion of the recliner.
But then the Holy Spirit prompted me into the reality of who I am in Christ and that the Creator of the universe lives on the inside of me, no matter how I feel or what the past or current events try to dictate.
Everywhere a born again Believer in Christ Jesus goes, we are the majority with God living on the inside of us!!!!! God’s love for us is so strong and powerful!!!
Our thoughts, words and actions are the deciding factor of the outcome of the day.
So I went on the offensive. I walked to my car and opened my Bible and chose a Psalm of praise such as this one, Psalm 113: 1-6, and I spoke it out loud with a determination and love in my heart remembering the goodness and greatness of God.
“PRAISE THE LORD! Praise, O servants of the Lord, Praise the name of the Lord! Blessed be the name of the Lord From this time forth and forevermore! The Lord is above all nations, His glory above the heavens. Who is like the Lord our God Who dwells on high? Who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in the heavens and in the earth? HE raises the poor out of the dust, And lifts the needy out of the ash heap.”
A little while later as I finally headed home, it started to pour down rain. I sang to the Lord still recalling how God has saved me spiritually, physically, emotionally and financially countless times before. He has never left me or forsaken me since I called on His name with all my heart in 1996. He is faithful when I am not faithful. His mercies are new everyday.
Suddenly I felt a jolt from behind. The car behind me had run into my bumper.
As we both pulled over into a nearby parking lot, I REALLY started laughing then. Not hysterically, but joyfully (believe it or not!), because these people were about to experience a blessing through my relationship with Jesus Christ.
The rain was still pouring down as the mother of the young driver got out of their car and started apologizing profusely.
She said, “I am so sorry, he just got his license and I told him he was following too close behind.”
Quickly, I started to console her and replied, “There’s no damage here. Please don’t worry about it. This is NO big deal!”
For a moment she looked at me like I HAD lost my mind. Then they drove off.
But I didn’t lose anything, I found my Peace. His name is Jesus:)
“From the rising of the sun to its going down The Lord’s name is to be praised.”
“And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man (woman) strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him (me) this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.” (Parenthesis mine.)
When we are facing our worst, well, that is when God is at His best.
Everyday is a good day, because “this is the day that the Lord has made and I chose to be glad!!”
(Isaiah 61:3; Acts 3:16; Psalm 118:24)
Contact Brenda Groves at: email@example.com