When you wonder how joy grows


The sun shines bright through the leaves and my heart brightens too, remembering his words. “It just keeps getting better.” Oh, to be able to say that of life when I, too, am well into my older years!

It’s not that life has been easy.  The comment came between tales of near death. But joy is written indelibly on his face now, smile lines that testify to the goodness of the One who cares for him.

“What is it?” I wonder.  “How does this joy grow?” I listen for clues. There is a deep love for Jesus, a life-deep gratitude for all that Jesus has done for him. Now he lives only to put a smile on the face of God.

He has watched and listened, eyesight sharpening to see God at work in even the darkest of places.

He has learned not to shoulder responsibility that is not his to carry.  He dreams big, works steadily, passionately, but refuses to worry about the outcome.  No fear. No defensiveness. Just a statement of fact, of simple trust in the God who has proven himself trustworthy. “It’s not my problem. It’s God’s work.”

At bottom, it’s this that’s soil for joy. This trust. Or rather, this One who has been found trustworthy. It’s one day at a time with the Father who has proven himself true through all the trials and always big enough to surprise us with grace.  It’s one step after another with this One who delights in him, and whom he lives to delight.

And I realize that my joy is small when my God is too small, when I act as though he needs my help, needs me to defend him, to serve him. In truth, it’s His work. His world. And I am His. All under His care. All for His delight. Celebrating each other one day at a time.

He takes no pleasure in the strength of a horse

or in human might.

No, the LORD’s delight is in those who fear him,

those who put their hope in his unfailing love.

Ps 147:10-11 (NLT)