Nehemiah 8:10c “…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Yesterday we wrote of Jesus laughing and playing with little children. A friend emailed me a picture of Jesus laughing and it speaks volumes to me! All too often we think of Jesus as always being serious; always involved in serious things. Maybe our view of Jesus – particularly as it relates to us – is that He is like a parent who is distressed by their child (you or me) who is forever messing up. We don’t see the joy and wonder that would have been so evident in Him. We don’t see Him smiling, let alone laughing.
Think of Jesus in the boat with the disciples as they rowed the boat and shared their experiences growing up with one another – talking about the fish that got away. Think of Jesus walking on the road with the disciples and they start picking on one of their group and Jesus has to rescue him. I can just see Jesus rolling His eyes at them as He intervenes.
Think of Jesus doing miracles and witnessing the explosion of joy that occurred when the lame walked or the blind saw; or a parent received their dead child back to life.
Think of parents bringing their crippled children to Him and they are made whole. Think of the little kids to whom the miracle occurs! Picture the little kids running around yelling at the top of their lungs that they were healed.
In Acts 3:1-10 there is the story of the crippled beggar who has a miraculous healing. Verse 8 describes his reaction:
“He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.”
This man wasn’t quietly thankful, soberly contemplating the event that just happened to him. He jumped to his feet and began walking, jumping and praising God. All who saw him were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
I thank God that He has given me a wonderful understanding of the joy He has in His people. In spite of all my short-comings and frailties, I can see Him smiling at me – while He works with (and on) me. I hope you can see Him smiling at you too.