Sometimes, God just up and surprises me. Was deep down feeling sorry for myself tonight. Couldn’t figure out just how I was supposed to write about JOY when I really didn’t feel much JOY. Then He just flings a little miracle my way and suddenly, the soul is dancing, and I’m trying to kick that depression demon to the curb. Love when that happens.
“The disciples were filled with JOY with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 13:52
All it took was a picture. A picture from my childhood. Once (like all small towns and large cities of America) nativities were erected around this time of the year. Ours stood in the central park. It wasn’t the traditional nativity with a stable or many characters. To me, it was perfect – stately, simple and spiritual. I loved it and missed it when it was gone. Today, our local museum posted a picture of it, and the JOY of walking past it every day as I walked home from school came rushing back.
“And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting JOY upon their heads: they shall obtain JOY and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Is 35:10
Do you realize that JOY is mentioned 422 times in the Bible (give or take a couple depending on the translation)? I love that God is constantly in our face – reminding us that JOY is always there. Yeah – in this world we are attacked emotionally, physically and spiritually. Founder of the Methodist church/evangelist, John Wesley, described these types of attacks daily in his writings. Once, it was reported that he went on a 3 day fast and prayer retreat when he hadn’t been critized enough.He believed that he would grow more spiritually and in wisdom when he was challenged in his faith . His JOY was trying to live his life spreading the JOY of Jesus Christ.
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great JOY, which shall be to all people.” Lk 2:10
Christmas break is here. Time to: Finish onE last Christmas stocking for the Grands. Send Christmas cards. Relax with the piano a little. Spend time talking with loved ones. Read an old book. Play with the dogs. Sit down and wait with JOY for the day of the LORD is almost at hand.
“Therefore you now have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart will REJOICE, and no one will take your JOY away from you.” Jn 16:22