When I think of JOY, I think of elation, smiles, happiness, pure excitement… I assume this is what many of you might think of as well. I think of various times in my life that fit this description. I remember getting the perfect gift as a child and being thrilled. I think of my grandfather when we all arrived for his 90th birthday. There have been times I’ve been with friends that we have laughed all evening. Joy, right?
I might argue that those were definitely joy filled situations. And then I went to Haiti. I was privileged enough with our church in 2014 and 2015. One of the “pictures” that stands out to me so vividly was the pure joy in the faces of the children. These little ones that have virtually nothing (by our standards, anyway) had looks on their faces like I have never seen before. Their smiles spoke volumes. Their faces lit up in a way I can’t explain.
Being with those children has allowed me to really think about joy. Certainly, my life has been filled with joy-filled moments and I am incredibly blessed. But I strive for the joy that I could feel exuding from these children. The joy that is the belly laugh of a child. The joy found in heartfelt, kind words. The joy seen in a smile. The joy found only in Jesus.
Joy is a gift… this advent season, let’s choose to share our Joy in Jesus with our friends and family!
Anneke Crowe, children’s ministry director