You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalms 16:11
In the Bible there are 242 scriptures with a reference to the word JOY. What that means to me is that JOY is very important to God. At the end of last year I felt like the Lord gave me a word (s) in my heart. “Restored Joy” is what resonated in my soul. My spiritual ears perked up like an eager puppy that hears its master calling. I so much need my joy restored. I know that I will never be the carefree young social butterfly that I was years ago, but my spirit had become weak and tattered from the trials of life. My smile was still intact but many times I passed a mirror and caught a glimpse of my face and saw that the smile was no longer there. My eyes that once were bright with enthusiasm now looked dull and tired and anyone could look into them to see that I saw the world and people in a different light. I understand better now why God was trying to save Adam and Eve from the tree of Knowledge. He did not want to keep anything good from them, He was just trying to save them from seeing and having a knowledge of evil.
I guess I have always been a kind of idealist, looking on the bright side, seeing the world through rose colored glasses, always expecting the best from people ( which is not bad, but really isn’t the way the world works). When I began to “grow up” so to speak, the “bright side” that I was always looking for sometimes didn’t come, the rose colored glasses slowly came off and I began to expect less and less of people. I began to “see” that maybe I’ve been trying to live something that really wasn’t and it drained the enthusiasm for life that I once had. I’ll admit it, I wanted to give up, throw in the towel, throw up my hands and say “what the heck”. BUT you know what? God would not let me.
Bit by bit He began to show me things in nature. He wooed me back by speaking to me in a way that He knew I would listen. I became acutely aware of things like birds and flowers. I just didn’t ‘see” a bird or flower; I looked at it with how remarkable it was and how only God could create it. He began to give me life lessons from watching the red cardinal that appears in my backyard every winter. He spoke to me when I saw how butterflies come from caterpillars and how they dance with each other in the air. He spoke to me how each flower is different and if He cares that much to take the time to create those, how much more He cares for me. In the Winter He spoke in the quietness of the first snowfall, in the Spring He spoke in the newness of life all around me, in the Summer I could hear His voice in the oceans and the power of the waves and in the Fall I could hear Him in the wind that blew the falling leaves from the trees. He gave me wisdom and understanding.
He wooed me like a child that was hurt from falling off a bicycle and He was the Father teaching her to ride again. He allowed me to get in position to receive the joy that He is going to restore to me. I had to be in a place where I could realistically live in this world and see it for what it is and yet look beyond that to God the author and finisher of my faith. Like I was as a child peeking from behind the curtain at the school play to look beyond to see my mom and dad in the audience, knowing that no matter what was ahead they were there for me and it would be alright. Isn’t it funny how even though God wants us to “grow up,” the road back to Him is when you come to Him as a child?
Now about joy…I’m learning that it is a choice! In my quest to have joy, I must get up each day choosing to receive it and to walk in it. Today I have chosen JOY! What about you???