Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What Joy Looks Like

"When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul." Psalm 94:19

The word joy appears over 240 times in the Bible. It's obviously meant to be characteristic of one who knows God and puts their faith in Christ. But, it wouldn't be fair to say you must be happy no matter what's happening in your life. That would be unrealistic. Not every experience is joyful. But I do know through scripture, that joy is meant to be restored in our hearts as a result of trusting God with our lives.

What does joy look like in real life? I thought over the next few days, I'd draw a picture of how God's defined joy in different circumstances of my life. Hopefully you can relate. Will you join me?

What joy looks like....

Wood rot. It's been a problem in our aging home for over a decade now. We knew about the rotting basement door and the one at the back of the garage but the beautiful archway in the front of the house is what surprised us. This archway was the selling point of our home; the quaint characteristic that made the house stand out from all the rest in the neighborhood; the focal point of compliments from guests and passers-by.

At first I just thought it was only in need of a quick paint job until I went to scrape off a peeling paint chip and my finger went through the wood siding. My husband reassured me it would be no big deal to just replace the one side of paneling and cover it with vinyl siding like the rest of the house. So, we put it at the bottom of our "to do list" for the summer.

Last Saturday (the last weekend of the summer) my husband started peeling away the siding, digging at the rotted veneer only to find more rot at the core. The entire post had to come down. What we thought would be an afternoon's work for novice, do-it-yourself carpenters was halted. My husband's heart became anxious knowing this project was beyond his ability and he'd have to call on someone else for help. But that call would wait until Monday.

It wasn't ten in the morning on Monday when the master carpenter and his wife was already taking measurements.

"Wow! That was fast" I commented as I greeted them. "Did Pete call you this morning?"

"No. I've just been working on the solution for your basement door frame and this archway in my head for a few weeks now. I'm ready to order the materials and frame everything out," he nonchalantly replied.

My heart literally leapt for joy knowing God had resolved the issue before we even had time to whisper up a prayer for help. What love He'd shown us in that moment, to send these friends who so willingly lend a hand; who come alongside us and help to bear our burdens. What a blessing. What a joy.

When they left, I couldn't get to the phone fast enough to let my husband know he could cross that call to the master carpenter off his "to do list" because God had already sent him.

God's joy comes in so many different packages. I just can't wait to see how it's wrapped every day.

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