Rebellion of Joy
I looked out the window of the kitchen at our little farm and saw my husband working in the yard. A little way away in the green grass, our middle daughter, Alora, was spinning circles. The green grass, the blue sky, the wind in her hair, the sun on her head, her blue dress and hot pink rain boots. It was a perfect moment. One of those that you want to capture in your heart. Your sweet little girl is as wonderful and innocent and free as the wind itself. She doesn’t doubt her worth or her beauty. She doesn’t worry about how she looks. She doesn’t worry about anything. This has to be part of what Jesus is referring to when he says we have to “become like little children” so we can enter into the kingdom (Matthew 18:3).
It is sad to say that along the way I have lost that child-like freeness. I am assuming some of you have as well. It makes me a little sad when I think about that loss. But I am reminded that God still sees me as his little girl. The thing about little girls, if you haven’t been around one lately, is that they are little sparking balls of joy. Even the ones that are rough and tumble tomboys! It is just something they can’t help! Where does this come from? I have thought about this a LOT lately. I have been reading a book written by someone I went to college with - Brad Montague. You probably know him as the adult behind Kid President. He wrote a book recently called “Becoming Better Grownups”. It is full of simple wisdom on the subject of how adults can become more like children and be better adults. It is really wonderful, and I think it is worth the read. He spends a good amount of time in the book talking about the concept of child-like joy. He even labels children as “joy rebels” because they can find joy in ANYTHING!
To me, joy is something that is deep within. Nothing can hinder it. Not a bad day, grumpy spouse, cranky children, messy hair...it is an attitude more than anything. James 1:2 even tells us to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” And he even gives us a reason why in verses 3-4:
“because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
So if I understand this right, we are supposed to be happy even when things are not good because it will make us mature, complete, and not lack anything. That seems kind of important. I would like to feel like I am all those things. I would love to capture the feeling that I see in my daughter as she spins circles in the sunshine or after she comes across something hard and joyfully says “It’s ok, I can try again!” The hard part is getting back to that place after all the cynicism of the world has been drummed into our heads. I would like to share a few simple reasons to regain some joy:
WRitten BY: Angie Reese
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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
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