Want More Joy in Your Life?

3 Sep

I hope I’ve caught you at a good time. For just a moment or two I want you to think about conversations you had yesterday. If you can, think back over the last week in more general ways to consider the topics while not the actual conversations. What do you remember about them? Did they bring happiness or heaviness? Laughter or grief? Or did they just fill airtime?

I know a lot of mine camped around the housing rehab we are wading through. With summer rushing toward winter, we know we need to get all painting and varnishing done while we can open windows and empty the house of the obnoxious (and unhealthy) fumes. Adjusting our to-do lists, replotting our schedules, and working around the rest of life define me at the moment.

Realizing that reminded me of some verses I read recently. The Message Bible presents 1 John 1:1-4 this way: “From the very first day, we were there, taking it all in—we heard it with our own ears, saw it with our own eyes, verified it with our own hands. The Word of Life appeared right before our eyes; we saw it happen! And now we’re telling you in most sober prose that what we witnessed was, incredibly, this: The infinite Life of God himself took shape before us.

We saw it, we heard it, and now we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Our motive for writing is simply this: We want you to enjoy this, too. Your joy will double our joy!”

Each year has favorite quotes people put on plaques, tee shirts, mugs and such. One several years ago announced JESUS IS ALIVE. I TALKED WITH HIM THIS MORNING. I think that is what John was trying to get across to his readers. Witnessing and fellowship is about having conversations about what Jesus has done and is doing in our lives. It is about spreading that joy, becoming contagious with it.

That’s hard to do if we are not seeing with our eyes, hearing with our ears and touching with our hands that Word of Life. Of course, Jesus is not standing in the flesh before us as John was able to testify, but that doesn’t mean we cannot have as real of an experience through the Holy Spirit in our hearts.

My word for the year is “Come.” I have been learning the joy of responding to the Lord’s call to come to him and fellowship with him. Lately, I’ve seen how my conversations have been far from him. Talking about how the rehab on our house is going dulls my enthusiasm and drags me down. Even the best conversations filled with compliments on my work lifts me only so high and leaves me wanting.

Yes, my word for the year is come, and I’m taking a guess that next year’s word may be “abide.” It seems like a natural progression: come and abide. Even if it isn’t, I know I want that to be my experience and practice.

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