Letting Joy Take Root
Did you know that every person you come in contact with is influenced by you? Whether positive or negative, you will have an effect on their life.
Foster care is full of opportunities to have a positive effect on multiple lives at once! It’s not easy to remain positive at all times but with God’s help, it is possible! I would like to share a verse with you that may not seem like much when read at face value. Bear with me though, as I attempt to break it down for you.
When you look at the original words of a verse, a new meaning can take place in your heart.
Let’s take a closer look at this one. The dew of course is what falls at night, but the word which is used here comes from another word that means, “to cover with a roof, cover over, roof”. Therefore, God is telling Israel that He will protect them! He will shelter them.
With God’s protection they will grow like the Lilly. The first image in your mind is an actual lily but again, the word for lily is derived from the word, sussiys which means, “to exult, rejoice or to exult, display joy.” Taking that further it’s a primitive root word that means “to be bright, that is, cheerful”! The roots that will lengthen like Lebanon take on a whole new meaning when you realize that Lebanon not only is a wooded mountain range on the northern border of Israel, but its name is derived from the word, lebab which means “heart, mind”. What I get from this is this; with His protection we can display joy and the root of that will grow deeply into our hearts and minds!
Recently I had a discussion with a friend about remaining positive and speaking positive words. As humans we tend to focus on the negative. Women especially seem to have a hard time staying focused on the positive. It seems that no matter how well things are going, as soon as something bad happens we continuously revert back to dwelling on that one bad thing. This verse can help us change our way of thinking. If we do what God commands us to do, He will shelter us.
His shelter will create opportunities for us to exult joy and bring brightness to other’s lives. That joy will take root, not only in my heart and mind, but in other’s as well!
As a foster parent, I struggled to remain focused on the positive. We stopped fostering after only two years and I felt like a failure because I still had such a strong urge to help in the foster system. Hindsight has shown me that I have the power, through God, to remain focused. His shelter was there all along and without realizing it something bloomed in me that I didn’t expect. A new root started to take hold in my heart. The desire to help broken families has led me to return to school and pursue a degree in social work. My goal is to earn a Master’s degree so that I can counsel with birth parents and children. I want to share the joy of the Lord with them. I want to plant roots that will grow deep in their hearts and minds. I want to make a difference in other’s lives with God’s roof covering me.
This verse has taken on a new meaning for my life and encourages me to keep on keeping on. I pray that it does the same for you! When you are dealing with birth parents, hard to handle foster children, social workers, judges, doctors, etc., think before you speak. Pay close attention to how you act and LOOK. Sometimes our face can display the disgust we feel on the inside. We are called to show joy and be a bright spot in these broken lives and with God’s shelter, we can do just that. These people need to see God’s goodness in us, and in turn, start to grow some joy of their own!
Perspective and images created by AGAPE's former foster mother, Haley Travis.
*Haley's Disclaimer: I am not a biblical scholar so these are just my thoughts on this particular verse with the help of “MySword” Bible app.