Remember the Joy

What do you do when you’re bedbound for months and you swing from feelings of encouragement to discouragement and desperation and back again like a pendulum? When your only constant companions are prayers, the Word of God, and your thoughts?

David gives us a glimpse of how to become a woman after God’s own heart in Psalm 9:

Give thanks with your whole heart.

Recount His wonderful deeds.

Delight yourself in Him.

Sing praises to His name.

When you’re sick and weak and sad, it’s a real challenge to do all these. But today, I want to do a little of number 2: Recount His wonderful deeds. I have many, many precious memories of childhood, back when I was healthy, strong, and hadn’t known yet how harsh and difficult life could be.

I remember this because of a basket of matured, green native mangoes that my mother-in-law brought from their farm in the province. When I was about 7 years old, I went with my mother to her inherited property on the mountain to harvest matured, green mangoes. (These were the years when my father worked abroad). She had sold the whole harvest from every tree to a “namamakyaw” (buyer) and we went there to oversee the harvest. The buyer’s men left the small-sized ones (for the trees’ owner) and all the fallen ones were for us, too. So, my task was to pick all the bruised fruits and gather them in baskets. I was quick and agile to do my job, running from one fallen fruit to another, and no one got on my way.

Back home, my mother would peel and slice all the bruised mangoes and preserved them in jars in brine solution. This would supply our merienda (afternoon snack, dipping it in fermented fish sauce and what a sour snack at that!) for months to come. The small-sized mangoes were also harvested and we arranged them in rows on the floor in one of the bedrooms where they would ripen undisturbed. When they turned golden yellow, they were soft and succulent and oh so sweet and yummy! These would supply our dessert (and snacks, too) for weeks.

It’s good to remember the goodness of God, like a soothing balm to an ache. In the meantime place, while we wait for answer to prayer, remember the joy.

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Journey with Jesus,