You Make Me Bold: Joy’s Story

Today, I’m excited to share some thoughts from Joy DeKok. Be encouraged by her post, and enjoy her photography! All photos except series featured image courtesy of Joy DeKok.
This post originally appeared on Joy’s Facebook page.

A Shameless Hope

Does the world feel overwhelming sometimes? Pause and listen for God's whisper...

Standing at the edge of one of our wildflower fields today, I was pondering Elijah. And his time in the cave when God spoke to him not in the earthquake or the fire, but in a whisper.

And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.
I Kings 19:12 ESV

Oh, how I want to hear God’s whisper. I think. It seems a mighty request when I’m not a prophet like Elijah. Or a preacher, teacher, or a spiritual authority of any kind.

Do I long to hear God's whisper? #boldfaith Click To Tweet

God can speak through the storms and fire, but are we listening for His whisper? Elijah heard Him; we can, too.

I’m an amateur photographer and writer/storyteller who prefers time spent at home alone in her office or walking beside prairie blossoms and grasses.

Asking to hear that whisper seems like it should be reserved for the greats of this world. Except that’s not how God works.

And I am pretty sure that’s an excuse on my part. A shrugging away the truth that God can use the pictures I take and the words I write in a salt and light kind of way.

So, yeah. I do want to hear the whisper. Even though it causes me to tremble inside.

Today standing at the edge of this quickly fading field, I lifted the needs of our nation to Him: wisdom for our leaders, a quenching of the fires in the Northwest, a full recovery from Harvey in Texas, the potential danger as Irma brews in the Atlantic, and the horrific losses in South Asia. Comfort for friends who have lost children in the last month, or husbands, or parents and in some cases a combination. For those in my family with cancer, epilepsy, and rheumatoid arthritis.

The list of concerns is long, and the suffering is great.

I hear and read where the desperate are calling out, “Where is God in all of this?” It’s enough to cause hearts to lose hope.

I came inside and made a cup of tea and asked God for a word from His Word. A whisper. A passage full of His power and might.

His answer came in the middle of my regular reading – wrapped in a verse I’ve often read.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 5:3-5, ESV

I sat in my grandfather’s old rocker and felt the Spirit’s love fill up the cup of my heart. For those, I don’t know who are facing dire needs. For those, I do know who don’t believe. For other believers.

Immediately followed by that love was a hope so strong I could hardly contain it. I gripped the arms of the chair and smiled because it’s uncontainable! Please don’t misunderstand – this is not a Pollyanna/rose-colored glasses kind of happily ever after.

It is a shameless hope driven by God’s love.

Shameless hope... driven by God's love. #boldfaith Click To Tweet

Driven by God's love, our hope can be shameless. Are you ready for whole-hearted hope that trusts and intercedes through the storms?

 

To read more from Joy, visit her website, JoyDeKok.com! Check out her photos here and on Instagram!

And be sure to check out the rest of the You Make Me Bold series!

 

 

Joy DeKok is an author, storyteller, blogger, amateur nature photographer and a ponderer of God and His Word. She is also an encourager. Joy has been known to eavesdrop – it’s part of the writing job description. Really.

She loves hanging out with her husband, their dogs, family, and friends. And since they are all providers of potential writing material, she’s sort of always writing.

Read more about Joy…

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