So many things fill my heart with JOY. First and foremost is my Savior. I am so humbled and so grateful every day of my life, that my sweet Lord reached His Hand down to me 42 years ago and I reached up and became His. There is nothing in this world that can compare to that kind of joy. Nothing at all.
It's hard to believe sometimes that God has been so good to me when I know I don't deserve it. But that is the beautiful thing about the grace of God - we can never do anything to earn it or merit it. It is undeserved but it is so amazing. A very loving God bestows it upon His children because of the vast love He has for us. A love that is incomprehensible. A love that surpasses all that we can think or imagine. A love that He has for His creation that enables us to love in return.
""We love Him, because He first loved us"
(1 John 4:19)
What other things fill my heart with JOY?
My precious grandchildren do it every day of my life. Whether they are just wrapping their precious arms around me to giving me warm hugs and kisses or crawling up in lap to simply snuggle, they fill me with JOY.
When they ride in the car with me and pick up my bible to read it while we are driving, my heart overflows. And I remind myself that is why I always keep a bible in the car.
When Eli is reciting all of Psalm 1 to me and Mercie pipes in with some of the verses, I am filled with JOY. I love to hear my grand-kids recite scripture. Whether I hear them in person or they tell me over the phone, it makes me so thankful for a God who works in the lives of those who are His.
I love it when Mikaela sits at my desk in my study and reads the Word. She has such a precious and teachable heart and it makes me joyful that she loves to read the bible. When she was younger she always said she wanted to be 'a bible study girl' like her Nana. Thank you, Lord, for giving me such a love for your Word that I have passed on to my daughters and grandchildren.
Prayer has been such a powerful force in my life for over 40 years. From the healing the Lord blessed me with when I was 10 years old to the healing that my children and grandchildren have experienced, I have come to depend on prayer to get me through every day. I can't imagine a life without prayer. My grown children still call me to pray with them and for them at various times in their lives. They know that nothing is too small or too big to talk to our God about.
The importance that we have placed on our prayer lives have crossed over into the lives of my grandchildren. When they are sick, even after their mother's have prayed for them, they will still ask their mother to call 'Nana' to pray. They know that I will stop whatever I am doing and pray with them and for them over the phone. That always fills me with JOY.
"The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD
will receive my prayer"
When my children are in another state working, I miss them and my grandchildren so much. But I am blessed that they call me every day to talk to me and I get to hear those precious grand-baby voices often. Hearing those little ones tell me they miss me and love me fills me with JOY even in the sadness of missing them.
Hearing their little voices singing songs about Jesus fill me with JOY. Seeing them reading their bible fills me with JOY. Listening to them tell me what they learned in church that day and sensing their excitement fills me with JOY.
JOY.... true joy is only available through the amazing love of Christ. Through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. True JOY is only felt when it is in tandem with the love of God. Only He can give that kind of JOY.
We will never be able to attain it without a relationship with Him. We will never deserve it. But praise the Lord, He has it readily available to His children. When we walk with Him in obedience, we begin to live in the Spirit. When we live in the Spirit and allow Him to guide our lives, the natural outpouring of that is JOY.
A JOY that never ends. That is what a life in Christ promises us. Joy unending. Joy in the good times as well as in the bad times. Because when you know the true JOY giver, that is enough. He is enough. And that in itself should fill us with unspeakable Joy.
Nana and Papa with Sawyer, Liam, Bryton and Laylah Beth
Nana and Papa with Mercie, Titus, Eli, Mikaela and Silas