Complete Joy

A little while ago, St. Paul’s Preschool offered their end of the year program to parents, grandparents and friends all rubber-necking from the pews trying to get a glance of their child’s smile. The ratio of cameras to adults was about 2:1.  Since Brendan is the 3rd child, I was the only parent in the room without a camera…a sad thought since my primary camera is my iPhone.  After singing songs like “If I Were a Butterfly”, “Catalina Magdalena”  and “I’m Bringing Home my Baby Bumblebee”, parents beamed with joy at their child’s accomplishments as the children waved to the adults who were present supporting their efforts.  The joy in the room was palpable.

When was the last time you experienced that level of joy?  I’m not talking about the fleeting smile or giggle…I’m talking about the deep joy that comes from knowing that for any given moment all is right with the world.  Joy that allows you to know that God is good, even when everything else is not.  Joy that rises from your toes, overwhelms your body with goosebumps and flows from your fingertips for all to see?

When I look at the topic of joy throughout scripture (there are 333 references in the New Living Translation…I did not read them all) it is apparent that joy is not dependent upon our circumstances.  Joy comes as we praise God, recognize our blessings, know we are forgiven, follow God’s ways, see joy in other people, and trust in God.  It then goes without saying that our lives could be crumbling around us and we could still be as joyful as a 4 year old singing his heart out before God and his parents.

Life is likely to rob us of joy.  The daily grind of cooking, cleaning, working, shuffling kids, homework and picking up after the dog can certainly do a number on our joy-o-meter.  As we go throughout this day and every day, let’s focus on the joy that is ours, supplied by God out of God’s infinite goodness towards us.

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