I would like your permission
by Stan Marshall
Ameerah, I would like your permission to quote (in part but in context) your writings in regard to : Christian Joy: Bible Study Notebook Entry #1,2 &3. I am writing a book that I call “In Search of the Oil of Joy”. It will cover my own journey from a joyless pew-warmer to a joyful participant in God’s plan for touching lives and reaching souls for Christ.
I would like to quote you and give you full credit for your writing because your words were dead on and I could never improve on your words or explain the points you make them as well.
As for me, I was born into a loving Christian family and attended church services most of my life. I was saved at seven and although, as a child, my parents took me to church faithfully. If the church doors were open we were there.
My adult life has been one of spiritual ups and downs. I endured some excruciatingly painful events, the death of my mother when I was a teenager, one daughter’s addiction to drugs and another’s kidney failure and the untimely deaths of three of my closest friends.
I am on Social Security disability because of incompatible chronic back pain, severe arthritis and a damaged tendon in my knee. I say this, not to invoke sympathy but to help show some of the things that I allowed to steal my joy.
Even through all the sadness and physical challenges, I had many reasons to be joyful. I had a loving, caring and supportive wife. My children loved me and wanted to be around me. My wife had a good job so we did no struggle financially, my house was paid off and I was fortunate enough to be born in what I believe to be the most blessed country in the world. With all these reasons for joy, I had none.
In my weak faith, I still remembered something I had heard in church, dozens of times. “…faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” That touched my spirit and I began to search God’s word, not really knowing how it would help, but in my spirit, I knew the answer would be there in God’s word.
My transformation was not instantaneous nor do I now live in a perpetual state of blissful joy but I do walk daily with that oil of joy covering me and assuring me of the blessed hope that is mine through Christ Jesus.