With all the disasters and heartache in the news, how do we find joy? I realized a number of years ago that my life was exceedingly joyless, routine and lackluster. I wasn't even sure I knew what joy was anymore.Life seemed to consist of endless lists of chores, none of which excited me--laundry, groceries, cooking, cleaning. On top of that money was in short supply. Not on the list--dinners out, vacations, etc. So how did I find joy?
I remember so clearly as a child thinking: If you can't be happy with little, you will never be happy with much.Even the Apostle Paul said that he had learned to be happy no matter his circumstances, in plenty or in want (Phil. 4:11).
What little things could I do that would make me smile? Although I usually avoided shopping at all costs, I agreed to go to an outlet mall with my daughter one day. At a discount cooking store I saw it! A smiley face pancake turner (see photo above). At $2, I figured that was a pretty thrifty way to bring joy. To this day, it still brings me joy when I use it.
At another store while shopping for school supplies I saw them! Not your ordinary silver paper clips. Oh no, these were multicolored and striped! I love using them as I clip together the chapters for my next book.
We are dedicated recyclers so every scrap of boring white paper had to be used for shopping lists and telephone messages. Not any more! My son found a twisty spiral of multicolored squares of note paper. Now my lists are red or green or orange! It sits next to the kitchen telephone smiling back at me.
But my cheapest joy ride is provided by the Master Creator. A walk after dinner brings me endless joy as I marvel at His cloud formations, the varieties of leaves, flowers and the colors of nature. The other morning He brought me a beautiful leaf bug to greet me when I looked out our back door. There he sat on the window pane before flying away to hide on the nearest tree leaf.I find great joy in thanking Him for the beauty and endless creativity all around me.
So how can we find joy in the midst of lack or trying circumstances? Perhaps it comes by becoming more childlike--enjoying the simple things in life and being thankful.
What brings you joy?
"The joy of the Lord is my strength" (Nehemiah 8:10)