Search
Close this search box.

Experiencing the Joy of the Lord

On Easter Sunday, I had decided to visit my parent’s Lutheran church. I had been going to another church for a while, but decided to take the time to enjoy Easter Sunday with my parents instead. 

My family and I have always been old school, when it comes to churches. I grew up Lutheran, and was taught the Nicene Creed, Father’s Prayer, and sang old hymns of worship. My parents had been going to this church for about four years now, and I had left after the second year to visit some churches on my own. 

Coming back to a familiar church, I was greeted with faces that I knew once before. Family in Christ that I had enjoyed talking to and sharing how the Lord had been moving in my life. 

Within that congregation, there were about 15 or 20 of us. A smaller congregation than usual that consisted of older ladies and gentlemen dressed nicely for the Easter service ahead. My parents and I sat down waiting patiently for the pastor to start the services.

A couple of weeks prior, I had experienced a car accident that I had never expected to happen right before my last semester of college. The devil had also been challenging before working on my self-confidence and self-esteem.

Yet, as I sat there in the church, I was simply reminded that I needed to experience God’s peace and joy. I was tired. I was mentally drained from my last semester of college. I was needing a break from stress, anxiety, and fear. 

Listening to the pastor’s sermon, I was reminded to experience joy on my worst days and best days. The pastor had shared that experiencing the Lord’s joy was something that C.S Lewis wrote about when he first started to search after Christ. It was a joy that could not be contained. A joy that surpassed C.S Lewis’ understanding. 

I recalled feeling that joy once before after some earlier struggles in my life. I had let God into my life to mend my broken heart, heal, and start stronger with my relationship with Christ. I was thankful that God had restored me and rescued me. Truly, it was a kind of joy that I desired to search after again and again. 

Making connections with my own faith, I shook my head in agreement with the pastor. Regardless of my circumstances, I needed the Lord’s joy in my life on Easter Sunday. I needed a reminder that I should be pursuing God’s love and joy in the good and the bad of life. 

I wanted and needed to experience the Lord’s joy again.

Unfortunately, pursuing joy is hard to do sometimes because I just get mentally drained from the stress, fear, anxiety, shame, and guilt that the devil aims to make me feel each day. The devil works hard, but God works harder to fight my heart, soul, and mind each day I am living and breathing. 

After being in a car wreck and also experiencing a high level of stress with college, I knew that searching for God’s joy could be more of a challenge. I knew, however, that God would be waiting on me and allow me to experience His joy. I just needed to pursue God more. 

Focusing on the joy of the Lord in my life is always going to be a continual challenge that the pastor reminded me of on Easter Sunday. Searching for the Lord’s joy, like C.S Lewis, is something that I plan to challenge myself with on a daily basis.

Experiencing God’s joy may look like just simply dancing in the rain or when all my circumstances look terrible, I smile because I know that I have a God that loves me dearly. It could be simply just listening to some motivational Christian music to get me through the rest of this stressful semester. It could be helping someone who is disabled or struggling as well within their faith. 

Simply put it, there are many ways that I could experience the joy of the Lord. I just need to continue pursuing the Lord.

Now, I reflect already on how good the Lord has been to me. He has died on the cross for my sins, my shame, my guilt, my troubles, and my pain. He took all of my sin away, cleansed me, and renewed me with a right Spirit in Him. 

The Lord also helped me walk away from circumstances in my life that could have been a lot worse. He protected me and provided for me even in the most terrifying moments of my life when I desire to take control. 

Truthfully, on Easter Sunday, I was reminded of how much I can experience God’s love and joy regardless of my circumstances. God is joy, love, and peace, and searching after Him is the ultimate solution.

Comments

Kitty D Hann 1938-2024

At 18 years of age, Kitty was recruited to work for the Dept. of the Navy in Washington, D.C., where she resided in an all-girl’s boarding house. She created lifelong friendships there.

John Eugene Walck 1933-2024

Mr. Walck worked proudly for Hagerstown Canteen Vending Service for 50 years, retiring in 2003. He enjoyed the outdoors, trap shooting, and collecting trains.

Justin L. Nichols 1981-2024

Justin enjoyed hunting, fishing, spending time around a camp fire, time spent with family and friends and living life to the fullest.

Robert “Bob” Rhoten 1933-2024

After he left the military, Bob worked several data entry jobs. After 10 years of service to the Federal Government, he retired in his early 70’s.

Nina Fegan 1947-2024

Nina graduated from St. Joseph’s Nursing School in Lancaster, PA as a Registered Nurse. She enjoyed puzzles, reading and vacationing in Cape May, NJ.

Duane Lee Bidlack 1938-2024

Duane earned a Bachelor’s degree from Tri-State College and later a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University.

Who We Are

The Franklin County Free Press, established by Vicky Taylor in 2019, emerged as a beacon of local journalism for the residents of Franklin County. Under Vicky's leadership, it quickly became an essential source of news, particularly at a time when major newspaper publications were increasingly overlooking local coverage.

On January 1, 2022, the torch was passed to Nathan Neil and his firm, Neil Publishing, LLC. Neil, a local entrepreneur with multiple thriving businesses in Chambersburg, shares Vicky's fervent commitment to both the community and the world of local journalism.

Rooted in the heart of Franklin County and powered by its residents, the Franklin County Free Press continues to bridge the gap, ensuring that the local stories, events, and issues that matter most to the community remain in the spotlight.