I think the beginning of a new year is a good time to take stock and assess goals for the coming year. For me, that means sitting on the wooden swing in my backyard beneath the canopy of oak trees and spending some quality facetime with Papa God.
This year, I feel compelled to get more in touch with my Jesus-joy, which flows deep in the veins of believers but is sometimes buried beneath the cares of the world, which can pile up and block the flow like a beaver’s dam if we let it. And sadly, I do. I allow worries and problems to collect like logs and make me lose touch with the refreshing, bubbling joy of knowing Jesus.
I focus on the troubles instead of the bubbles.
But I’m going to do better this year. I’m going to be cognizant that Jesus-joy is 90% gratitude and comes from knowing what Jesus did for me – NOT deterred by my circumstances – and choose to rejoice in His presence daily. Even though I may not feel joyful every moment, if I know Jesus as my friend and Savior, joy is always accessible. And I’d much rather live a light-hearted, joyful life than be oppressed by the joy-sucking dully-funks.
As one of my faith heroes, Jill Briscoe, says, “Joy is faith dancing.” I think I need a little more dancing in my life. Jill also says, “God, through His spirit, grants us love, joy, and peace no matter what is happening in our lives. As Christians, we shouldn’t expect our joy to always feel like happiness, but instead recognize joy as inner security – a safeness in our life with Christ.”
I aspire to get drenched this year in the joy of the Lord, which is where my strength comes from (Neh. 8:10). And when my Jesus-joy overflows, I want it to splash on everyone around me.
What about you, my friend? Are you up for bursting through the dam of circumstances and splashing a little joy on those you encounter this year? I’d love to hear from you!