I have seen anew and afresh how much I need Jesus. I need his grace. I need his joy. I see that I am so week that I need him to help me do even the most peewee acts of mercy with cheerfulness. I’ve seen yet again the truth of Jesus’ words “Apart from me you can do nothing.” And I’ve also experienced the truth of “Ask and it will be given to you.” Jesus fills me with joy in serving when I pray. As I said before: Day after day I come back to Jesus, like Bob Wiley to Dr. Marvin in “What About Bob” and cry out, “I need, I need, I need, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme.” I need grace. I need joy. I need strength. For even the smallest things.
I know that Jesus was tempted in every way I am, yet without sin. He probably didn’t always “feel” cheerful when the crowds were pushing in on him. It’s hard for me to imagine that he felt cheerful the night before his crucifixion when he thought about washing the disciples’ feet. Yet I believe he sought his Father for strength and joy. He regularly prayed throughout his ministry. I would imagine he prayed for God’s grace to preach and heal and put up with his disciples with cheerfulness.
I’m happy to report that Jesus answers my prayers. He helps me. He gives me joy in mundane acts of serving. He gives me enough grace for this hour. He doesn’t give me several days’ worth or even several hours’ worth of grace ahead of time. He gives me enough to be cheerful now. I’ll have to pray again soon, because I seem to leak. But I’m confident he’ll fill me again.