You might be hearing it in songs or on people’s lips: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”
But what if you’re not feeling it?
How can it be a wonderful time of the year if someone you love is no longer here?
How can it be wonderful if you’re struggling financially and one thing after another keeps happening to set you back?
What if you’re experiencing chronic pain, a broken relationship, an upset with a friend, or an impending surgery?
This past week, my husband and I had to replace our oven (that was expensive). We dealt with a smash-n-grab through our car window on Thanksgiving Day in which the smasher grabbed nothing, but left us with a mess of glass and an expensive car window repair bill. Then I received a heart-breaking letter from a friend who expressed painful words when I was hoping for healing ones. I also met with a surgeon to discuss the removal next week of a mysterious benign growth that attached itself to me a few months ago and continues to grow rapidly, which indicates it might be cancerous after all. But my joyful sound throughout all of this is that I have a Savior who is sovereign and on the throne, and nothing at all takes Him by surprise. He continues to allow every event of my life to draw me closer to Him and give me new songs of praise as I realize all that I have is His, and my very life and health are in His capable hands.
In Psalm 77, Asaph the songwriter was downright discouraged with life. He was despairing, depressed, and almost ready to give up. He wondered if God would ever be compassionate, merciful, and loving toward him again. Wow, he sunk pretty low. And then in verses 11-12, he determined to do something to gain perspective. He said, “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
And when he did, he was immediately able to say these glorious, affirming words: “Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God?” (verse 13). He then recounts in the next eight verses the miracles, deliverance, redemption, and provision that God provides for His people, including the way He goes before us on this journey even though His “footprints were not seen” (verse 19).
In Psalm 89:15, we read: “How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! O Lord, they walk in the light of Your countenance” (NASB). I encourage you, my friend, regardless of what you’re going through, to listen for your joyful sound.
The sound of a tiny baby’s cry? That’s the joyful sound telling you life goes on.
The sound of a crackling fire? That’s the sound reminding you of your home or place of safety.
The sound of the Salvation Army Bellringer outside Hobby Lobby? That’s the reminder that you’ve been given SO much and there are SO many who are needier than you.
The sound of silence? That’s the needed break in your day or a reminder of your loneliness that beckons you to come closer to the Lover of your Soul and spend some quiet moments communing with Him.
Listen for your joyful sound. It can be heard when you ask your Savior to open your ears to His gentle voice and to open your eyes to the often unnoticed blessings all around you.
What is your joyful sound this Christmas season? Let me know in the comment section below. I would love to listen for it too.
Make Him all you’re desperate for by reading (or ordering) my book, Women on the Edge: Turning Desperate Times into Desire for God. It will change your perspective and your devotional life. (This title remains on sale for just $5.99 each plus shipping at my website this week only.)