joy

 

I love, love, love, LOVE learning.  It’s a passion of mine.  Because when I do, when I take the time to listen to God, to learn from the maker of all knowledge…I can pass that on.  In a conversation, in a text message, or a simple word of encouragement.  When I’m stuck, when I feel like I have no value because everyone seems to know more than I do, well, let’s just say I don’t react well to that feeling.  The Bible even tells us that there’s nothing new under the sun.  So, sometimes, I’m tempted to think what the point is then.

But the true reason I love sharing, being able to learn so I CAN share, is really because it’s not about me knowing all the answers (or any answers for that matter!) or even having some fresh, unique insight that no one has ever had before, but about how hard it is to remember and being able to remind others of His love and encourage them, as well as being privileged to continuously grow in my relationship with the Lord.  So while there may not be anything new under the sun, there is always something new living life in the Son.

As long as my relationship with the Lord continues, as long as I am learning and growing, and blessed enough to be able to share, remind and encourage those around me, life truly is a grand adventure.

But…

Not if I’m distracted….

Not if I’m on the wrong path…..

Not if I’m not listening ……

And not if I’m putting anything in my life above Him…

Think of those blind men or lame men in the bible.  The ones sitting outside of the city gates.  Spending day after day in the dust and hot sun with no hope, and probably little to no joy.  They weren’t allowed to enter into the temple.  Not able to sacrifice to the Lord.  Rejected by society – having men and women with so much more walk by them, not being noticed by those who have good eyes, good legs, family, a way of life, and yet choose to squander those things away instead of stewarding their provisions for the Lord.   Those people had no hope of escape.  After all, miracles weren’t happening every day.  Who could change their circumstances when even today’s medicine can’t cure blindness and there are still people living lives without the use of their legs.

We hear that same hopelessness now in the SSDD – same “stuff” different day – mentality.  People resigned to live life to get thru today, make it to the next paycheck, and working for the weekend.  With lives filled more with anger, bitterness and darkness than with the riches of love and joy.

Joy.

Most people think of that word to simple mean happy.  Happiness is an emotion – and like every emotion – its fleeting.  But true joy, like peace, comes from the creator of joy – and no where else.  True joy – is all about God.  Rejoicing always in His goodness, His mercy,  in His love.  Joy is a contagious, infectious force of nature.  There are these videos floating around on facebook where a few people tell these somewhat pathetic jokes to each other and the one who laughs first loses.  It is hilarious to watch.  Laughter truly is the best medicine. It makes your spirit lighter than all the muck trying to weigh it down.  So if the joy of the Lord is truly my strength, if my reason for living, my reason behind everything I say and do is God – that joy should seep out of my being like I’m a bucket shot up by John Wayne himself.  That true joy that comes from God is what keeps me going, keeps me moving forward – to see what’s around the next corner.  It drives me to let go of the life-draining, energy-sucking, time wasting pits of despair and anger and rejection.  To stop being satisfied with the SSDD kind of life.  To surrender my life to let God fill me with his joy, his hope, his love.

Those blind and lame men, without hope, again probably knowing little to no joy… came face to face with Jesus, and that… that my friends… changed everything.  He may have restored them physically, but He did so much more in those few moments in time.  He restored their Joy.  It practically leaps off the page, the excitement, the truth of who Jesus is sinking in as their minds process these sensations of sight and abilities that some of them never had.  The JOY, of learning who Jesus really is – meeting his compassion and love face to face.  They learned that day that the God of their ancestors, is a God who meets us wherever we are in life.  And with Him comes life, and love, and peace, and Joy.

Jesus meets us every day, just like he did on those dusty roads long ago.  That means, there is always a reason to Rejoice – we don’t have to even look for the joy if we’re looking to Him- and always a reason to pass on joy, however and wherever we can.  To shine some light in the darkness around us and to live and adventure full of His joy.

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