This week's Word Art Wednesday Challenge verse is Nehemiah 8:10 -- "The joy of the Lord is my strength."
Does that verse sound odd to you? Shouldn't it be the other way around -- "the strength of the Lord is my joy"?
And yet it's not. Truly, the JOY of the Lord is our STRENGTH. This truth has certainly been proven in my life these last few months. In spite of my circumstances -- being diagnosed with aggressive cancer -- being hospitalized for weeks at a time -- getting a dangerous infection in my blood -- undergoing toxic treatments that take their toll on my body -- in spite of all these facts of my life, I have found joy in my relationship with Christ, and that has been my strength!
Am I always happy? No. I have my down days. But underlying any doom or gloom that might invade my mind, my heart knows joy. It's only because of Him. And that deeply penetrating joy is my strength to endure whatever He walks me through.
But the challenge for me was how to represent all this in a piece of art! What I finally decided upon was an image of a woman that is also an oak tree. An oak is known for its strength, and the woman's "arms" are outstretched in joyful praise like the branches of a mighty oak tree. (I added printed images of oak leaves so you'd know it's an oak tree, not just any old kind of tree -- and to add some colour ;) I wish I'd succeeded in making the woman's face a little more joyful looking -- but perhaps I just mean "happy," which isn't necessarily joyful anyway -- so I won't worry.
Have you found joy?
Word Art Wednesday is proving to be a real blessing to many. Perhaps you'd like to join in? If you do, you have chance to win something lovely from Heart and Soul Rubber Stamp Co. . I do hope you'll join us!