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Lenten Devotions

Day 35: Written by Marilyn Rogers Almlie

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“This is the day the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

One day while I was enjoying Bible study with my friends at Grace Lutheran Church of West Sweden, I stated that my new mantra for the year was going to be:  “Find joy along the journey.”  One of the ladies quickly retorted that, “All I needed to do was look under my kitchen sink to find Joy!”  We all laughed, and after that, Nancy took it upon herself to assure that I found, “Joy along the journey.”  I received cards with the word “Joy” underlined. Conversations with her always included the word, “Joy.”  She even gifted me with a devotional book entitled, We Brake for Joy!

After we moved away from that parish, I lost track of Nancy and was quite shocked to learn that she had passed away without many people in the church even knowing she was ill.  She was an amazingly, strong woman with a sparkle in her eyes.  Her demeanor radiated the love of God.  After losing her mother to polio when she was four, she became very aware that family and friends were extremely important to her. Although she suffered from severe rheumatoid arthritis, she led an active, supportive life in her community and her church—always thinking about others.  This lady was truly a child of God.  She taught all of us to, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

During this Easter season, it is my hope that we can live life with joy and contentedness.  I believe God wants us to enjoy our life.  He sent His Son to give us life and to be able to live life more abundantly.  We can do this through a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Because of Him, we can face all of our problems.  We can battle health issues, marital difficulties, addictions, and financial stress and still prevail—scathed but whole.  All we need is faith and to find joy in the fact that God gave us His beloved Son so that we might live and have everlasting life.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank you for being with us each day.  Help us to find joy in our lives and to realize that there will always be challenges to face and trials to endure.  Help us to remember that only through You can we find peace and contentment.  May Your strength, love, promises and hope give us an assurance that we will be with You forever.  Amen.