Come, everyone, and clap your hands for joy! Shout to God with joyful praise! (Psalm 47:1 NLT)
The word “joy” shows up a lot in the Bible…
- Shout with joy!
- Clap your hands for joy!
- The joy of the Lord is your strength!
- In God’s presence is fullness of joy.
- For the joy set before him, Jesus endured the cross.
Last time Philip and Stephanie and my grandson Jesse were here for a weekend, I was in the backyard with almost two-years-old Jesse and we were walking up and down the little hill (actually I was walking and Jesse was running). Jesse was holding my hand really tight (that’s a good feeling!) and with that grip on my hand he was running with abandon.
As we went down the little hill for the second time, I realized that Jesse was saying, “Wheee!” I didn’t realize anyone actually said “Wheee!” I thought it was just from cartoons I used to see. Jesse was, in that moment, filled with pure joy and the most naturally honest thing he could do was shout, “Wheee!”
I asked myself, “How long has it been since simple joy made me shout, “Wheee!”?”
In this season of preparation for the next chapter of my story, God has dug pretty deep through the onion-layers of the stuff of my life. As we get closer to the core of simple faith and relationship, I am beginning to get glimpses of joy. When I look straight ahead I feel little bursts of joy inside – dreams rekindling, possibilities popping up. If I get distracted and look to either side the other stuff rushes in.
I’m going for the joy! I won’t give up and I won’t give in! Somewhere not too far around the next bend, or the next, I’m going to be so full of the joy of being who God made me to be and holding his hand so tight, that I’ll shout, “Wheee!”
Father, for the joy you let me taste and the hope you place before me, I will continue. I will not give up. I will not give in. I will, at some soon occasion, shout “Wheee!”