I know you are already wondering if I have lost my mind. Maybe I have and maybe not. I guess you will have to read on to find out. Danny is my almost one-year-old kitty. He has a lot of Maine Coon in him by looks and without experience I cannot say how much is a particular personality, but he is not at all like any cat I have ever had. A friend had given me a dog chew stick to entertain Danny because he has an interesting mind and does love to play. It didn’t take long for him to lose it to my dismay. The other day I got a spool down that he loves and forgot to put it up again and so it was also lost. As in desperation I was on my stomach with a flashlight and a yard stick I saw something strange under the refrigerator. I knocked it to the side hoping to get it out and guess what came with it – you’re right, the chew stick, which had previously been hidden from sight.
The result was a hilarious evening watching the absolute best experience of joy I think I have ever seen. The pounces and flip-flops were exciting to watch, but he also never seemed to tire; it was his beloved treasure. I don’t deliberately try to connect life events, but I distinctly heard the Lord say to me that this is the way He would like us to feel as we attempt to enjoy His presence. There are so many ways to enjoy a chew stick and more than we can imagine to enjoy the presence and love of the One who created us in the first place.
We are living in a day and an age where joy is often the farthest thing from our minds as we constantly read and hear about the atrocities that mankind has devised to satisfy his anger at the things life has dealt him. How is it that we have become so willing to let Satan take center stage?
The Psalmist rightly knew and experienced – In your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore (16:11). Isaiah also recognized the Father’s intent as he wrote – Behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart (65:14).
Those living in New Testament times also recognized the Lord’s desire for His children to be joyful as they lived lives according to the Father’s will. We find recorded in the book of Matthew – Enter into the joy of your Lord (25:21); in John – These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full (15:11); in Galatians – But the fruit of the Spirit is …joy…Against such there is no law (5:22-23) and finally in 1st Peter – Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory (1:8)
As we live in times that are often depressing maybe we should consider returning in our hearts to the time when those who heard and recorded and those who lived and walked with our Lord experienced what God originally planned: that His children, like Jesus, would increase in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men (Luke 2:52).
We only have to pull our dusty Bibles off the shelf and begin to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us into the knowledge and inspiration for living that has already been experienced by those who knew and loved the Lord, those who walked with Him and passed down His ways to their children. God’s will and plan will never, no matter what, be superseded by the evil ways our world is coming to know. We have his promise, preserved by His death and resurrection, that He will never leave or forsake us.
Joyful, joyful we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee,
Opening to the sun above.