Read Psalm 23:1-6

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.—Psalm 51:12 (NIV)

It’s been more than three years since my husband died at age 54. I thought I’d be better by now—with therapy, time, and serving my church. But my sorrow and grief linger like uninvited guests who won’t leave. To help reconcile my grief and find purpose, I have been collecting old, broken furniture and restoring it.

Then, using words and photos clipped from recycled magazines, I decoupage the furniture, giving it a new life. This process has allowed me time to think, pray, and see that there is still beauty in all things, even in the brokenness of my heart.

Slowly I am finding small windows of joy reminding me that God is with me. God is the joy of my salvation and values and loves all of me, even the broken parts. Grief can rob us of many things, but it doesn’t have to rob us of God’s joy that enables us to walk through deep valleys.

Prayer—God of joy, remind us of your beauty in times when we feel vulnerable and fragile. Guide us to be hands of healing to those experiencing difficulties, and give us a song of joy to sing even as we cry. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thought for the day—God is the joy of my salvation.

—Malinda Fillingim, North Carolina