published: Sunday, February 17, 2013
To describe joy
When our two little grandchildren ran into our arms, joy permeated my being.
They had just endured a very long ride ... made longer by traffic ... to visit us for Christmas and be here through a family reunion that would begin Dec. 28. At the moment, they knew of no other plans; just the warmth and welcome of Gramma's and Pop-Pop's arms that never wanted to let go.
Eagerness and anticipation welled up in them. Inquisitive eyes took in all the Christmas decorations. Their faces lit up with the sheer joy of being together as we sat down to a simple meal.
I could list the many happenings in the week that followed and the happiness of each moment. But, true joy ... now that's something almost indescribable because it isn't measured in doing ... but in being.
We had come across a box of old cars that had belonged to their daddy and uncles and had them ready with simple wooden blocks borrowed from our church. You would have thought we'd provided buried treasure.
But, the call came often ... play with me Gramma. Ride bikes with me Pop-Pop. They were happy to have these things to entertain them. But joy wasn't in the thing ... it was in the company. Joy has to do with relationship.
In John 15: 1-10, (NKJV), Jesus shared with his disciples the lessons of the vine and the branches. He taught them lessons from the vineyard and described himself as the true vine. He expressed that they (we) are the branches. Like grape branches bear fruit according to their attachment to the life-giving vine, so we, too, bear much fruit when we abide in Jesus, the true vine.
Jesus instructs us to abide in his love as he does with the Father. Then he says in verse 11, "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full."
The doing and enjoyment of all God provides is enhanced by our relationship with him. That's where the joy comes from and remains securely within.
Even if we are going through difficult or sorrowful times, that joy bubbles to the surface and overflows because its source is God; and in John 16:22 we are reminded, " ... and your joy no one will take from you."
Tears of joy were silently wiped away as our grandson responded to a song and poem at church. Our granddaughter's eyes lit up as she sang songs of faith knowing we had taught them to her.
Joy! It's deep and abiding and I treasure it. Selah
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