Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
Growing up in a big family, my parents didn’t have a lot of money to buy good, name-brand shoes for us kids. To us, a new pair of shoes was a new pair of shoes whether we got them from Payless or the Nike Store. (Actually, I didn’t even know what the Nike store was until I was in high school.) We always got the shoes that had plastic bottoms – you know – the kind that sent you sliding another six or seven feet across the gym floor before you finally came to rest after trying to stop. Trying to run was like taking off like those characters in the old cartoons – you run three or four fast steps before your shoes actually grab the floor and you start moving.
That really didn’t matter to us that much, though. I can still remember when I was in second or third grade, and those new shoes were everything. Looking back now it never ceases to amaze me how those shoes made me run faster and jump higher, or at least that’s the way it seemed to my little mind. I can’t believe we actually did this, but it is the honest truth: it was such a big event when my brothers and I got new shoes that we would always ask if we could sleep in them. Believe it or not, I remember my mom actually letting us do it a couple of times. The sad thing is it didn’t take long for those shoes to become dirty and, since they were plastic, cracked on the top and the bottom. They became just like any other pair we ever had that left us longing for the beautiful chirping sound that the other kids’ shoes made on the gym floor. They just weren’t special anymore.
Many people treat salvation that way, too. When you first got saved, it was the greatest thing in the world. “Look what Jesus Christ did for me! I can’t believe He would be willing to give someone so unworthy such an unbelievable gift!” you might have said. As you continued on with life, however, and you moved further away from your salvation experience, it became as nothing more than old, cracked shoes – just something you have because it is a necessity, but not something you hold dear. When David wrote his great penitential Psalm 51, he asked God to restore the joy of his salvation, which means that was one of the things missing from his life when he fell into sin. God wants to give us that joy back, but it only follows repentance and forgiveness. Go back to the day you got saved. Remember how much it meant to you, and don’t ever let it get old.
Read also: Romans 5:2-11
Quote of the day: "That one word saved is enough to make the heart dance as long as life remains.” – Charles Spurgeon