“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
Standing on the beach watching my sister and brother-in-law play with their two young children in the surf, I began to think about the things in my life that have gone by the wayside. It had been at least ten years since I swam in the ocean. Before that I would swim out past the breakers and float on my back in the briny deep. Now I strive to go to the beach, not get wet and not bring any sand home with me in my shoes, bag, ears etc. In our lives it is very easy to lose sight of what is beneficial to us, the small simple things that nurture our souls and make us feel like a two-year-old again. When we allow ourselves to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, joyfulness will ensue. There is an enemy of our souls, if he is able to steal our joy, the battle is half won. In Christ, we have the freedom to live our lives in His joy, and as John 10:10 tells us we can live that life more abundantly. God is interested in our having joyful life, in Him. The enemy would have us to believe that a joyful life is gained by wealth and prominence. While wealth is not inherently bad, it is not the secret to joy. What price can you put on the delighted face of a child as they splash in the ocean waves? Don't allow the enemy to steal your joy.
I jumped in the ocean at my brother-in-law's prodding, ok he actually dragged me in, and I swam out past the breakers. As I floated on my back and gazed at the azure blue sky streaked with long white clouds, I promised God and myself that I was going to jump back into life more fully. In the fall I will rake leaves and jump in the pile. This winter I shall be playing in the snow and building a snowman. I will be chasing fireflies and listening to the song of frogs and crickets next spring. If you see me trouncing in a puddle next summer, know that I haven 't gone mad.
Lord, thank you for the joy that You have promised to us. I pray that you inspire each of us to live our lives joyfully in You. Father please keep Your hand on our lives and empower us to do the work on this earth that you have ordained for us. In Jesus' name thank You and Amen.