Six-year old Susan always found something to smile about. Even during serious moments there seemed to be a grin lurking behind her sparkling blue eyes. Her bubbly personality cheered the students in our first-grade classroom, and I looked forward to her joy each day. Like the day she came up in the middle of class and gave me a big hug. She turned, smiled and explained “I just love to hug people!”
One afternoon she returned from lunch with the hiccups – probably from giggling too much. I watched as she went to get water.
Evidently the cure didn’t work, though, because she returned to the room still giggling and still hiccupping. She looked at me with a huge smile and exclaimed, “Teacher, I’ve got the laugh ups!”
Joy is a gift, and it is necessary to life – especially in troubling days like the ones we are facing. It is not a feeling we conjure up. Instead it is a result of the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. As a matter of fact, it is listed second in the fruits of the Holy Spirit, preceded only by ‘love’ (Galatians 5:22-23).
Nehemiah 8:10 reminds us that “the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Today I pray that we will experience God’s joy, which is not dependent on our circumstances, and that this joy will infect the lives of those with whom we have contact.
Psalm 95:1 O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
Isaiah 51:11 Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Photo: Beach Flowers by Beth Mims