Some years ago, through a divine appointment I met Becky who became my mentor and best friend. She emailed a prayer request that I felt led to respond to personally which began our brief but important friendship. Becky had ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and her husband Multiple Sclerosis. They came to EFCC because it was easily accessible with their physical challenges. I initially rebelled against a friendship with Becky, but God quickly arranged for us to meet one day in person after church and I felt drawn to her joyful, sweet spirit. I’d recently lost a good friend of many years to cancer and I’d just gone through six months of cancer treatments myself. I longed for health and healthy friends; another painful loss Lord? Please no!
God had other plans. Soon we were meeting for coffee and praying for each other. We shared life and most importantly prayed for each other. I began visiting her at her home when she could no longer drive, and God arranged that her new down-sized home was just minutes away from me. Though she eventually lost all of her motor skills and eventually could barely speak, she never lost her joy and never stopped praying for everyone on her long prayer list.
What does this have to do with David’s cry out to the Lord to restore the joy of his salvation? David knew the joy that comes from knowing the Lord, but his own selfish sin separated him from God. As believers, we all still sin, fail the Lord, and sometimes disobey Him. The sins we commit cause us to lose our joy. After we sin, we feel that something’s wrong; we sense something missing between us and the Lord. Isaiah 59:2 tells us, “Your iniquities have become a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”
Even when we don’t “feel” his presence, God has repeatedly promised never to leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5) Will you continue to love, trust, obey, and worship God, even when you have no sense of his presence or visible evidence of his work in your life? The awful circumstance of disease that could have separated Becky from her peace & joy didn’t succeed. Becky’s last words to me — “you’re my joy” still bring me joy, and she knew true inner joy comes from relationship with the Lord.
Let’s pray for his help today to navigate the potholes on life’s road and thank him for reminding us that we can always look to him for help.
Executive Administrative Assistant