Don’t Let Satan Steal Your Joy

Recently I’ve had trouble sleeping. Not sure the exact reason. Could be any number of things.

While thinking about not sleeping, though,  Billy Joel’s song about walking in his sleep, River of Dreams, popped into my brain.

I know…my thoughts are not linear. They bounce all over the place. (Much like when I play pickleball.)

In his song Billy Joel talks about walking in his sleep from mountains of faith to valleys so deep.

He goes through the valley of fear, to rivers, and the jungle of doubt.

He asks himself what he’s looking for.

It isn’t anything he’d lose, it has to be something somebody stole.

He wraps it up with stating he hopes whatever it is doesn’t take him the rest of his life to find.

Any of that sound familiar to your life? It sure does mine.

Are there times when you are standing tall on mountains of faith one day, then plunge to the jungles of doubt the next?

What about those valleys of deep fear and depression?

Obviously, we wouldn’t go around tossing ourselves into those dark times on purpose, for goodness sake. Our peace, happiness, joy aren’t things we’d willing throw out the window and lose.

Those are things Satan, the deceiver, joy-stealer-extraordinaire, delights in snatching right out from under us.

That’s what he’s good at. Taking our moments of victory – whatever that looks like to each of us individually – our mountains of faith, and dropping us into a valley of fear.

He really cannot stand for us to enjoy the life our Creator God has given us.

Satan wants us to live in misery and works very hard to fulfill that desire.

If we are in a place where we feel something in our lives is missing … like we’ve lost something important, possibly our joy in the knowledge we are a beloved child of the One True King, perhaps we need to wake up. Stop walking in our sleep and going through the motions of life.

Could it be we need to turn our lives completely over to Jesus and ask him to restore our joy? Could it be we need his shield of protection around us to stop Satan’s assaults?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this please share it through the social media buttons.

Be self-controlled and vigilant always, for your enemy the devil is always about, prowling like a lion roaring for its prey. Resist him, standing firm in your faith and remember that the strain is the same for all your fellow-Christians in other parts of the world. And after you have borne these sufferings a very little while, God himself (from whom we receive all grace and who has called you to share his eternal splendour through Christ) will make you whole and secure and strong. All power is his for ever and ever, amen! 1 Peter 5:8-11 (Phillips)

I wish you well.


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Pickleball, Putt-Putt and Ping Pong

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

On our recent excursion to the Colorado Rockies, Pilot and I played pickleball, putt-putt golf and ping pong in succession. Although we were tried from two very long days of driving, we had an enjoyable, fun-filled afternoon.

Pickleball was first up on our list. Neither of us had played the game before and Pilot was rather skeptical at first. I’d heard about the game and wanted to try it out. Fortunately for us, the two ladies from Colorado on the other side of the net had never played before either, so both sides were at the same rather pathetic level.

It was wise of Pilot to suggest we not keep score and concentrate on trying to get the wiffle ball over the net in a volley.

Being a flat-lander, the first 15 minutes of the game about wore me out. I managed to twist my ankle, but that didn’t keep me from laughing and suggesting we institute a half-time into the game as I chased and smacked at that ball. Missing more times than not.

The game may seem simple, and I guess it is, but it takes getting used to. Especially if you’ve played racquetball or tennis. That little yellow ball with the holes in it certainly doesn’t behave like you would expect it to, that’s for sure.

30 minutes into the game everyone agreed to take a water break. The YMCA person monitoring our game told us we didn’t have to play the full hour. Guess he was concerned one of us might expire.

We played the full 60 minutes and had a blast. Exhausted, but happy.

After pickleball Pilot and I decided to play miniature golf. Neither of us had played the sport in years.

When we reached the putt-putt range, our Y guide from pickleball happened to be there.

He told us we might want to play the Bear Cub course first.

What was he suggesting?

We opted for the Adult Bear course and did quite well, thank you very much.

Again we didn’t keep score, but we both know who dominated the course!

If one person sinks the ball in two strokes more times than not, and the other takes four to five strokes, it’s easy to figure out who won. Especially when one of us almost made a hole in one on the adjacent hole.

To round out our day of sports we ventured on to the game room and ping pong. This was also a game we’d not played since arriving in Texas 15 years ago.

We saw no need to keep score and simply volleyed back and forth.

Good thing, because by now my ankle had swollen and hurt every time I moved it. My lungs were screaming for air and I huffed and puffed my way through the volleys.

But that didn’t keep me from giggling whenever the ping pong ball headed my direction, landed in the trashcan behind me.

Pilot and I very briefly considered a dip in the pool to add to our list of how many “p” sports we could complete in one day. Like I said, we considered it but aren’t foolish.

Though we were tired, we were joyful. Though we were worn out, we were not done in. Laughter truly is good medicine. It kept us going through our “p” sports and left us with a lot of wonderful memories.

Has it been a while since you did something enjoyable? Just for fun? It doesn’t need to be pickleball, putt-putt or ping pong. Pick something you enjoy or something you’d like to try, then do it.

Have fun. Laugh. Enjoy yourself without worrying about keeping score. If everyone is having a good time, there are no losers. Let Jesus be the center of your joy.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this please share it through the social media buttons.

Being cheerful keeps you healthy. It is slow death to be gloomy all the time. Proverbs 17:22 (GNT)

I wish you well.


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