“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore”—Psalm 16:11 (ESV).
One of my favorite YouTube videos is of children singing a Zach Williams’ song titled “Old Church Choir.” What makes the video so special is the actions of one youngster who steals the show. She seems oblivious to those around her, reveling in the lyrics as she dances to the music.
Part of the song’s lyrics follow:
There’s revival, and it’s spreading
Like a wildfire in my heart
A Sunday morning, Hallelujah
And it’s lasting all week long
Can you hear it?
Can you feel it?
It’s the rhythm of a gospel song
Oh once you choose it, you can’t lose it
There ain’t nothing, there ain’t nothing gonna steal my joy.
Watching the video, it’s obvious the girl doesn’t care who’s watching or what they’re thinking. She’s singing and dancing for the Lord.
Where Can We Find Joy?
Stepping out onto my deck one recent summer evening, I was enchanted by the flashing lights of fireflies as they danced around in the dusk. I’d not seen that many since I was a child. Even my dog was fascinated. He remained outside for over an hour, sitting quietly, and watching the twinkling lights.
Watching those fireflies brought delight for several reasons. First, they reminded me how much God loves us. He has created such diversity in creation, no artist or inventor can easily replicate.
Second, the appearance of these mysterious insects that evening brought back memories of capturing them in jars when I was a child. We’d poke holes in the lids and set them by our bedside at night to watch them glow in the dark. Lying in my dark bedroom, the flashing lights reminded me of God’s protection.
The Joys of Being a Child
As a child, I can recall other times I delighted in the simplicity of God’s amazing creation. I could spend hours searching for four-leaf clovers or creating necklaces by intertwining the stems.
I felt a sense of wonder while climbing into the boughs of a Mimosa tree. Getting lost among its graceful silky leaves and flowers, I delighted in hiding from the world.
The world and its trappings, even in the 50s and 60s, held no long-term value for my curious mind. Only the simple pleasures of God’s creation brought such satisfaction.
Delight Yourself in the Lord
Pastor and author, Max Lucado, encourages us to “find joy in the ordinary.” While our God and His creation are not ordinary, we don’t often seek fulfillment in the things around us. Instead, we are lured by the latest technology or other gadgets to entertain us.
When boredom sets in, we binge watch our favorite television shows. The siren song of worldly pleasures tempts us to forsake time spent in communion with God.
Our spirit seeks the ordinary, the simple pleasures found outside of material belongings. We think God and His kingdom are complicated. They’re not. What does our Heavenly Father desire? He wants a personal relationship with us. God wants to spend time with us in solitude. He wants us to enjoy His creation, made especially with us in mind.
What Can Steal Our Joy?
In today’s challenging times, it’s easy to forget how blessed we are. Maybe it’s because we’ve allowed external circumstances to define our emotions. When things are going our way, we’re elated.
But when life goes downhill, we seek worldly thrills to fulfill us or to help us escape the pain. The material things of this world don’t last. Neither does the high we get once they’re gone.
Colossians 3:2 tells us to “keep our mind on things above, not on worldly things.” That’s because Paul knew worldly things will never satisfy. Living for the Lord and delighting in Him is the only way to find lasting contentment.
After a 30-year teaching career, Carol Round found redirection as a Christian columnist, author and inspirational speaker. She is the author of nine books, all available at Amazon.com. (See her website at www.carolaround.com for more information.) When she isn’t writing, she can be found spending time with her seven grandchildren, working in her yard, volunteering, shooting photos, hiking, going on mission trips and playing with her spoiled rotten dog, Harley.