Monday, December 8, 2014

Holy Joy

We hosted our small group from church in our home last night. The day had been filled with events and errands all the way from home to the city and back again, but when we got home, just 15 minutes before we would fellowship with friends, our hearts settled into the quiet hopefulness you have just before sitting down with intention to know God more deeply. My home was still cluttered with the things that make up our lives, hair ties, blankets from a friend's recent stay at our house, dishes from the potluck dish I had just made, but more than all those things our home was filled with the Spirit of the Living God. From our very first apartment to my husband's business offices, we always spent time praying for the Lord to dwell with us, for His presence to be felt and known. Once our friends arrived the sounds of laughter filled the rooms. So much in fact that it was hard get everyone to stop their chatter for more serious conversation.

As we talked about the recent sermons and our lives a friend told us a little about her visit to a third world country where she adopted her son. She said that the orphan children prayed for her, "may the Lord's blessing's be upon you, the blessings of Jesus!" These little ones had nothing. Nothing but Jesus himself. Through Him, however, they had joy. In America we think of blessings as things, sometimes they are, but the truest blessing is more of God Himself. More of Jesus. Because at His right hand are pleasures forever more. In His presence is fullness of joy.

I was reminded that God's joy is always available to us. It can be easy to fall into the mindset of being happy when things are going well, when you have money for all the tasty foods you want, or you've reached some new level of success. Sometimes I think I'd rather live in a monastery where all of my days would be devoted to knowing God, and experiencing Him in richness and clarity. Tonight I was reminded that I don't need a cloistered life to meet with God. I walked into my two year old's room to lay her down for bed when I realized that this moment wasn't for her. God was with me, in a tangible sense, in that dark room as held my daughter. I closed my eyes and let the Spirit speak. I sang a quiet secret hymn to Jesus and experienced a taste again of his joy.

This joy, this peace, this love, this GOD, the Holy Spirit, is always available to us. And I am thankful for sweet reminders.

 Lord, meet with us more. Teach us your grace and fill us until we burst forth with yourself.