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The Verse That You Need Taped To Your Refrigerator

A few months ago, we came home from the hospital with our newborn baby daughter. One summer night our little family was gathered out on the driveway, kids playing, my husband and I still in the beaming/wow-we-did-it/exhausted stage.

Our sweet neighbors came over to say hi; they'd just had a baby, too.

After the "she's-beautiful"s and "how-are-you-doing"s were over, our friend leaned in and said something that just jolted me out of my sleep-deprived haze.

"Guys, I need to tell you something," he said. "You wanna know your verse for this season? It's John 10:10."

Oh, I remembered that verse. We used it when I worked as Young Life leader in college. "I have come that you might have life, and have it to the full."

And then his voice got stronger. "Yeah, but you remember the first part? 'The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy.' See, that's what the Enemy does. He's going to try to get you fighting with each other, to destroy your joy in this stage, to steal all the life out of it. Man, you don't want any of that. Just tell him no.' "

They said their goodbyes and walked away soon after, but I was changed.

I could see it so clearly - what that awful Enemy was doing to me, to our family. It wasn't always marital discord, though it certainly was at times. Other times it was anxiety, it was fear for the future, it was exhaustion and numbness and feeling overwhelmed - all his awful tactics to steal my joy and take my eyes of the Life and the Lifegiver.

And my friend was right - we don't want any of that.

I don't know what you're dealing with right now - whether it's everyday stresses and strains or something a thousand times more awful than my post-partum anxieties. I don't know what you're dealing with.

But I know this - in everything there is Life. In this right now, there is Joy. And there is Life.

And, yes, there is one who wants to steal that life, who wants to kill the joy, and to lie to you that this is bleak and this is hopeless and you just can't do it, or don't want to.

He is a thief and liar, and sometimes you just have to tell him so, out loud.

Cling to the life. Give thanks in all circumstances. His grace is sufficient and His power is perfect in your weakness. I'm learning that all too well.

See, in everything we can give thanks. Remember the One Who Loves Us? And how for the joy set before Him, he endured it all?

We follow in His footsteps. We endure the daily, and the stressful, and the horrible, and everything in between, and we take joy. Joy in the caring for sick ones. Joy in communion with others in hard times. Joy in serving, joy in persevering, joy in becoming like Him, joy in what is to come, joy in loving like He did.

There is always joy.

I pray for you, too, today, that this Joy and Life would be seem more real than the Lies. For they really, truly are.

"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." {II Corinthians 4:17}


Jessica Smartt

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