There is a song called Lay Me Down, and the lyrics of the bridge say, "It will be my joy to say, 'Your will, Your way, always." I'm thinking and meditating on that today and realizing that the joy may not come when we submit to the Lord's will. The actual submission, the initial act of surrender can be hard and painful and and uncomfortable. But afterwards, when we are living in accordance with the will of God, is where we find joy.
Submitting to God's will can mean so many things. It can mean giving up things we hold dear, it can mean changing our behaviors or reorienting our lives. Those are not easy things to do, and doing them often requires that we conquer our fears and develop a new level of trust in the Lord. In the story of Saul/Paul's conversion we see an extreme example of the struggles associated with submission turning into a deep, abiding joy. Saul spent three days blinded, praying, before the Lord restored his sight. It was only after that time that he began to preach. Now, once he began preaching and living according to the will of the Lord, it wasn't that he never faced adversity, but Paul often wrote of his abiding contentment and joy in the Lord. He gave up everything, totally changed his life, and found true joy in the midst of all his circumstances.
Are you filled with joy today?
And your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right or to the left.