Finding Joy Again

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:11

During a particularly difficult time in my life, God comforted me with the verse listed above, Isaiah 58:11. I wrote the following devotion during this painful time:

I had been aching to go to St. Augustine to shop and visit the beach. When a dear friend needed help and a distraction, I planned a trip to St. Augustine. At first I was discouraged because the day turned rather cool, and it had been warmer earlier in the week. I thought about how cool it would be at the beach, and I wondered whether or not we would even have a good time. However, when I walked out on the beach, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of awe. The beauty of the white-capped waves as they rushed towards the golden sandy shore made my whole being fill with praise towards my Creator. I was so overcome by the beauty of it all, that I audibly spoke, “Look at the beauty of what God has made.” No one was really talking to me, but how could I keep quiet when the beauty of the wondrous scene shouted out to me and beckoned me to join in praise towards God, the Creator of this gorgeous landscape? God has created all the best pleasures that I have ever experienced, and I took joy at this thought. God created more joyful experiences than man ever could. The praise that filled my heart was so intense that I can scarcely recall few other occasions when my heart was filled with such gratitude. Maybe it was the intense pain that had beaten and pummeled me for so long that caused my heart to rejoice at such breathtaking beauty. And yet, the very next day I had another opportunity to see God’s hand at creating waterworks. As we strolled down the river in a pontoon boat, I saw the amber-colored water lap the sides of the high banks in Black Creek. The green canopy was dotted with majestic houses that seemed to be captivated by the hypnotic beauty of the water. The houses snuck close to the edge of the deep creek that spilled into the St. Johns River. They seemed to be drawn to the beautiful water view. Ever inching their way closer and closer to snuggle up to the grandeur that God created.

My eyes traveled from one side of the creek bank to the other drinking in the gorgeous scenery just as hungrily as a half-starved man at an all you can eat buffet. My soul had been starved for beauty and pleasure, and it drunk deeply of the large, meandering creek. The beauty of the whole experience reminded me of heaven and the pleasure we will experience at seeing sights that are more spectacular than have ever been witnessed by human eyes. The exquisite sights that were lavished upon me by my loving Father would not compare to the gifts that were in store for me. In fact, I’ll have a new body with eyes especially prepared to see God’s finest masterpiece, heaven. How I long for that day! As surely as I enjoy the beauty that God lavished upon the earth, I will relish the unspoiled grandeur that awaits me. Oh, what a day. I can hardly wait!

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