Posted by: glorifyhim1 | July 12, 2010

Living Joyfully

There is nothing quite like a child’s excitement. This morning at church one little fellow was all smiles when we commented on his brand new hair cut. “I got it for my trip!” he proudly exclaimed. Then with words tumbling over themselves, he proceeded to tell us all about a trip to a water park that he was anticipating. His eyes fairly danced as he detailed the slides, tunnels, and other adventures he would get to enjoy, as well as the hotel with a swimming pool where his family would be staying. His excitement was so palpable that it was clearly apparent to everyone in the room.

I can remember similar excitement in my own kids when they were small. One of my daughters loved shopping for shoes. When it was time to buy new shoes, she would pore over catalogs and talk unceasingly about the type of shoe she hoped to find (within our price range). I can still remember checking on her one night after one of these shopping trips to find two high-top tennis shoes sticking out from under the covers. She was so excited about her new shoes that she had worn them to bed!

But I also discovered with my kids that oftentimes the simpler things could generate as much excitement as major activities. Simply going out for an ice cream cone or a slushie could evoke squeals of laughter and excitement.

As I thought about this, I couldn’t help but wonder what happens to us as we age. Why do adults often lose that excitement about life that kids express so well? I guess deep down we all know. Life gets in the way. We have to work, make house payments, put food on the table, and take care of our families. We have a lot more to think about than ice cream cones or slushies. Yet, in all honesty, God did not intend for us to walk around with the world on our shoulders looking like we had been “baptized in pickle juice” (to quote a favorite, dear pastor). In John 15 Jesus talks about His relationship with God the Father and likewise our relationship.

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you;

abide in My love. If you keep My commandments,

You will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s

commandments and abide in His love.

These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you,

and that your joy may be full.”

(John 15:9-11)

 

 

Instead of our situations or circumstances, it is actually our relationship with God that determines if we can face life joyfully. Just as a child doesn’t encumber himself with the worries of the parent, we too can totally surrender everything to God our Father. How much we are able to actually let go of and surrender to Him says a lot about how much we believe what God’s Word says about Him. Consider just a few Scriptures that testify to the greatness of God!

  • There is no God like our God. (see 2 Samuel 7:22)
  • His ways are unsearchable and beyond our understanding. (see Romans 11:33-36)
  • There is nothing too hard for God. (see Jeremiah 32:17)
  • Nothing can separate us from the love of God. (see Romans 8:35-39)
  • God is merciful and faithful to us. (see Lamentations 3:22-23)
  • He will forgive our sins. (see 1 John 1:9)
  • God is our refuge and strength and He will help us in times of trouble. (see Psalm 46:1)
  • He truly cares for us. (see 1 Peter 5:7)
  • God is always with us. (see Matthew 28:20)

 

These few Scriptures are just a sampling of the many verses found in the Bible that address the greatness and wonder of our God. We can surely trust our big problems as well as our petty concerns to this almighty, all-knowing, all-powerful God who truly loves and cares for us. Once we surrender the hard stuff to Him, perhaps we can rekindle our lost joy. Psalm 16:11 tells us that in God’s presence is fullness of joy. As we revel in God’s presence, we may lift our eyes and actually see that beautiful sunset or our child’s smile. Perhaps we will recognize that the food on our table is because of a faithful God. Just maybe, we will let go and get excited over the simple, yet awesome blessings with which God showers us daily. You know – I just might wear my new flipflops to bed!

“Who is so great a God as our God?

You are the God who does wonders; You have declared

Your strength among the peoples.”
(Psalm 77:13b-14)

 

“For You are great, and do wondrous things;

You alone are God.”

(Psalm 86:10)

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Responses

  1. As a kid, I remember the excitement of getting the whole set of Muppet Babies Happy Meal toys.

    Every now and then the excitement and joy of my former kidself sneaks back out. Like the other day when I saw you bought Phineas and Ferb fruit snacks. 😉

    • I remember the Muppet Babies, too! You kids would get so excited over going to McDonald’s (well actually I would, too)! Give your “kidself” free rein – that’s joy! Love you!

  2. What can I say? I enjoyed the smell of fresh rubber and the feel of new shoes on my feet 🙂 My most happiest time was when the big JC Penny’s catalog came in the mail…I knew then my research could begin 🙂


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