Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Joy (05/18/06)
TITLE: A Very Special Gift
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Four-year old Sandy knew her Daddy was coming back from a business trip today. Mum had told her and now she heard the key in the front door. Full of excitement she even dropped her doll as she watched the door. There he was. Sandy’s face broke into a big smile, Daddy, Daddy. She ran into his open arms. This was the moment she had been waiting for. Pure, undiluted joy. We can be sure at that instant the little girl’s joy was complete, not diluted with any other thoughts but the closeness to her father.
Joy has nothing to do with fun. Today we often hear, “The main thing is, we are having fun.” Unlike pure joy, fun can actually be harmful – for the people having fun, or for the victims of fun. This is not to say there can’t be good fun but it is different from joy. The word ‘fun’ does not occur in the Bible but ‘joy’ is used many times.
Joy happens when something good expected comes to pass, the angels rejoyce when a sinner finally comes to the Lord. I remember running through the house, my heart bursting with joy when a friend for whom many of us had prayed for over ten years, finally came to the Lord. The apostle Paul expresses joy in the Christian community of the Thessalonians, not because he has any advantage through them but because of their relationship to Christ. He also names suffering a joy because it brings us into greater likeness of Christ.
Hearing a bird sing or inhaling the perfume of a flower also can produce joy. Many things and events evoke pure joy in us. It is a gift from God; to give us a foretaste of heaven. Experiencing pure joy touches our hearts, something deep inside is stirred and there is no room for lesser emotions. Joy withdraws when selfishness or egotism intrude.
Let us be grateful to God for this precious gift and share it with others whenever possible.
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