Steve explores joy in our lives and how it can take us deeper.
Joy is a foundational human emotion. Who has not been filled with joy at the birth of a child or a marriage proposal? Scriptures speak to the joy that flows from our encounters and engagements with God. Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit. The Psalmist said, “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” Ps. 94:19. The joy of our salvation is not simply a phrase. It is a state of life, an opportunity to live on a different plain.
The willingness to embrace a life of joy does not mean that every day is a happy day.
Embracing joy of the Lord in life requires us to take a step back, pause for a moment and assess the things around us. Joy is a perspective that dwells within us in spite of what is going on outside. This is a lesson we can learn from nuns in the middle east who live under conditions that do not allow for a lot of outward express of Christian joy, yet they have a richness of deep joy that guides their lives. Joy is an internal spiritual state that goes well beyond external limitations. Yet the things that bring us joy can enhance our internal spiritual state.
My greatest joy over the last two years comes in the experiences with our grandchild, Harlow. Times seems to slow around him. I do not focus on all the work that I could be doing. I simply focus on him and the joy he brings to my life.
On a recent trip, we went to the happiest place on earth, Disneyland and experienced Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge together. Watching Harlow experience the awe and wonder of Disneyland and the reality of Star Wars characters, brought deep joy to my heart.
The innocents and imagination of a two-and-a-half-year-old renews my commitment to seek out joy every day in life. The eyes of wonder through which little ones view the world can teach us many things about living out the joy of the Lord daily.
The joy I experience around Harlow goes beyond the simple excitement of being a grandparent. It is an internal joy that transports me back to the spiritual joy that flows from God. Joy in everyday life can connect us to the spiritual joy deep within in us. Make it a point to seek out joy in the things around us while connecting to the inner joy dwell within our souls.