“The ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away” (Isaiah 51:11, NIV 1984).
Sometimes it piles up so high that I need the weekend for an escape valve. This past Saturday was one such day. I had at least four hours of work to catch up on, so I brought it home with plans to lock myself in my study and get it done. Oppression, oppression.
One hour into it, I heard, “Doc!” My granddaughters had arrived.
No way around it…I headed downstairs to entertain and to be entertained.
It was easy. My wife had bought them a Bubble machine. Unlike the blow-your-own-bubble sticks that I had grown up with, this machine continuously blew soap bubbles of all sizes into the poolside breeze.
My 14-month-old granddaughter Lyla was delighted. She ran between the bubbles, reaching to touch but never quite touching before they rose above her. She wore a grin on her face a mile wide, running in circles, beaming joy. Her joy overwhelmed my paperwork oppression and I was whole again.
This is a fallen world and life is not what it was meant to be. I believe God created us to live like Lyla, beaming with joy over the discovery and beauty of His creation….but we are a long way from Eden.
Sometimes we catch a glimpse of the world as it should have been: in the eyes of children, in the majesty of nature, in the awe of worship, in the gratitude of a homebound believer. This world is broken---but at times we can see what it might have been.
As Christians we know that the child-like joy of discovery and beauty will one day be ours fully and one day last forever. We live in hope, awaiting that day. My granddaughter reminded me that even now we can catch glimpses of such joy and refresh ourselves in the fountain of God’s glory touches.
But it takes intentionality.
We need to seek the glee of children. We need to sit and stare into the eyes of those we love and thank God for their lives. We need to let ourselves rise to Him in worship. We need to feed the hungry, visit the sick and imprisoned. We need to hug the beggar, wearing the name of Christ. We need each day to empty ourselves and let Him in. We need to climb mountains, wade across streams and stare into sunsets for longer than 30 seconds. We need to go out of our way on a house call and forget the charges. We need to put aside our paperwork and watch children play.
God’s joy is everywhere if we seek it. Though it takes time, we need to alter our schedule and take it.
Lasting Joy and Lyla-like glee are headed our way, someday soon. While we are waiting, God has provided lots of glory touches to refresh our soul, if we would but seek them.
Let me open my eyes to the joy you have provided on this side of heaven.