Restore my Joy, O Lord

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Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and contrite heart – these, O God, You will not despise.

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As my husband arrived home, bags in hand, our daughter’s eyes widened as she let out a squeal and his name, and jumped into his loving embrace.

Yes, my husband had only been gone a week, but the joy and excitement our daughter had when she saw him was un-restrainable.

There’s a story in the bible, about a week after Jesus had already appeared twice to the disciples in safely locked rooms. Now the disciples seemed kind of aimless, as they decided to fish all night, with no catch. In the wee hours of the morning the disciples couldn’t make out that it was Jesus on the shore. He acknowledged their lack of catch, and told them to cast the net on the right side of the boat, where they would find some.

As they obeyed, and their nets were too full to haul in, the one that Jesus loved whispered to Peter, “It is the Lord”. With over-elated joy, Peter flung off his outer garment and threw himself into the sea, as the quickest way he saw to reach Jesus.

Our precious daughter displayed that same ecstatic enthusiasm to run into the arms of her father as Peter had done to our Father.

Sometimes I catch myself downtrodden as I face trials or the anticipated workload. My stress swells till it spills over with frustrated words towards my husband, children or others around me. In turn making me feel bad, I find myself in a funk which I need to snap out of.

I am confident, that whenever I catch myself dwelling on my failures, Jesus awaits with open arms. There He lifts my countenance with His steadfast love, and the reassurance that He’s waiting at the shore. I praise the Lord for the realization that I need to return to Him, to receive His love and restoration again, and heed His tug on my heart.

As today’s verse tells us, God will never despise our broken and humble heart.

He will lift us up.

As Peter and the other disciples got to shore, “they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread.” After they brought Jesus the immense haul that He had enabled them to catch as He directed, Jesus said, “Come and have breakfast.” They again shared joyous carefree fellowship with the Lord, being filled up by His presence.

When I am aimlessly going through my day with a less than joyous attitude, focused on the problems at hand instead of the work He’s called me to do, I am forgetting the joy I have when focusing on the Fathers love for me, His constant presence and His imminent return.

Dear Jesus, Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Let me jump in the water, on my way to You, full of elation in the fullness of your love for me, my Friend, and my Loving Father. You are there, waiting at the shore for me, with a feast laid out to share with me. Let every day be filled with the excitement that You are coming quickly! -Amen

Ref: John 21:1-14, Psalm 51:12