I’m in a turbulent season with my teenager. It was an uncomfortably typical rough morning, and once again he left for school without saying goodbye. My heart was heavy, and the temptation to worry and feel sorry for myself was present.

I had been texting that morning with three different friends about things unrelated. Amid my circumstances, I became acutely aware that on the phone I held in the palm of my hand was the reminder of three relationships. Three extraordinary women who are dear to me and their presence was tangible in my pain even when they didn’t know I was struggling.

When my emotions gave way to tears on my bedroom floor, I felt the small arms of my younger child wrap around me. He sat beside me and tried to comfort me because I was sad. The embrace outlasted my tears, and I thanked him. There was a tenderness in his presence that isn’t often evident between the two of us, and I recognized the significance of the moment.

When the house was quiet, and I sat with a cup of hot tea and my Bible, I found myself in verses from 1 Thessalonians that called me beloved and reminded me that there is no need to wander in Spiritual darkness because I am a child of the Light. It reminded me to be who I am. I have a security of salvation that cannot be shaken or moved, and I can stand firm on that truth.

Psalm 100 tells us to shout joyfully to the Lord. To stand in His presence with joyful singing. To recognize Him with gratitude. To enter His gates with thanksgiving. It calls us to be thankful and to bless and praise His name. Why should we do all this? The Psalmist answers our question by saying because He is good. His mercy and lovingkindness are everlasting. His faithfulness endures.

That morning, though my heart grieved this place where I am with someone I love, I claimed the hope and victory that is mine to cling to as a believer. Jesus will not fail me. Though I do not know how this will all work out, I do know that God loves me. He loves my child. He sees the struggle. He is at work. And I will praise Him for that.

I will shout for joy for the women whose love came through my phone. I will shout for joy for the young arms that wrapped around me. I will shout for joy for His Word that infuses me with confidence and security. I will recognize Him with gratitude. And I will do my best in my role as mother without trying to take over His role as God.

Habakkuk 3:17-18 holds these powerful words, “Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive fails and the fields produce no food, though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls, yet I will [choose to] rejoice in the Lord; I will [choose to] shout in exultation in the [victorious] God of my salvation!” (AMP)

It is our choice. There are always barren fields and empty stalls to look at if we want to. But there is also always a reason to shout for joy over the faithful Father we follow.

Peace.