Wednesday, 6 October 2021

It seems to be the fashion on Facebook to put up photos of wedding anniversaries. They
are all a delight, but there is one that I cannot erase from my memory. It is of the Bridegroom leaping for joy.

The bride is of a different culture and the wedding in her country, so maybe their customs are different from ours, but to leap like that could only have come from a joy deep within.

But is such joy a one off? My own husband was very reserved and not likely to sing for joy, let alone leap, but I was reassured by the Psalmist’s declaration to know that his joy as a bridegroom was something that gave him strength to run his race. I am sure this was as true for my husband as for this couple, who now have the responsibility of a lively and demanding family, as well as running ministries which necessitate the bearing of heavy burdens as well as causing stress which may affect their health.

So does that mean an end to leaping for joy? I believe God wants us to ask and   still expect joy. Didn’t Jesus say, ‘Ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.’? And the promise in Isaiah is that the lame man shall leap as a hart, as well as the tongue of the dumb sing. So we need to pray for those who carry  heavy burdens and have responsibilities that demand more than natural strength, that God will still anoint them with the oil of gladness and that they will know his peace and joy, in it all.

There was a time when an injection given by the dentist affected my heart and for a year I was struggling with ill health. It was during that time that God gave me a promise that I would rejoice, not only spiritually but also physically.

A few years later, I was setting out on trek in the Highlands of New Guinea when, though I knew my strength would be tested as I would have to wade through bogs and climb mountains,  I felt this surge of joy and knew God was fulfilling his promise.
Today, when some like myself can’t go far without a walker, while others of you may be in training to run a marathon, we can all rejoice in the Lord and joy in the God of our

‘For the Lord is our strength and our song.’

Let us remind God of his promise, ‘Then shall the lame man leap as a hart and the tongue of the dumb sing.’



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