I can honestly only think of a few moments when I felt joy... pure, unadulterated joy. The one that comes to mind first would be the first time I held Savannah. I think I might have even cried... I'm sure this is an emotion that most moms feel when they first see their child... and while she is not mine, that moment of holding Kim's first born in my arms was the moment I committed to being her confidant, teacher, friend, protector, encourager, accountability partner and prayer warrior. It was the moment I decided I would take a bullet for her... the moment I knew that this kid (no matter how she acts) would always know that she is loved.
Another example of joy... honestly, I have to think about that one. Like I said... joy is rare and special. I have had glimpses of joy doing missions work in Latin America and working with children. It is hard not to experience joy when you see such pure love and unwarranted trust in some one's eyes.
Checha - met him in an orphanage in Guatemala... left a little bit of my heart with him there.
I felt joy when I watched my friend Callie, who after what I would consider the toughest year of her life (she dominated cancer) saw one of her heroes, Mrs. Dolly Parton in person at the Opry. I wasn't watching Dolly when she came out on stage... I was watching Callie. This is literally the picture of her first sighting of Dolly... whom she has loved her whole life. It was such an incredible moment to share with my friend I felt joy in that moment because I knew that she was so incredibly happy... and she deserved to be.
I looked up a lot of verses about joy... and I invite you to read them and apply them to your day. One warning though... consider what factors might steal your joy??? WHO and WHAT can make that happen? Consider those things and watch for them... don't allow them to take away that rare and fulfilling sense of Joy in your life. Honestly, I think I can steal my own joy better than anyone else. I am my own worst critic. My biggest personal flaw is that if I become angry with myself, usually over something little and stupid, I tend to ruin my whole day. This is something I constantly work to improve... because that stupid mistake I made... well, last time I checked I don't own a time machine... I can't go back and redo that moment. Therefore why should I allow myself to stress over something that is out of my control??
I hope that you will take some time to read these verses. It is very evident from them that Joy comes from the Lord, and anything from Him should not be taken for granted. I pray that we will all examine those things that we allow to steal us away from those unique and beautiful moments in which we see the love of God in the life He has given us.
Nehemiah 12:43And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.Psalm 16:11You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Psalm 19:8The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
Psalm 28:7The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
Psalm 30:11You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
Psalm 43:4Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.
Psalm 94:19When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
Psalm 126:3The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy
22 Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.
23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.
24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.
10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
Imitating Christ’s Humility 1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
Please keep Little Norman in your prayers... and also a precious baby girl named Helen Claire who is about 8 months old and has pnemonia.