I love that little kids remind you to experience joy. Free, wild, untainted joy. I had the privilege of watching my 19-month-old son, Liam, play with a two-and-a-half year old girl this past weekend. I don’t see Liam interact with other kiddos very often because I’m usually dropping him off at some kind of childcare whenever he has the chance to play with other kids. So, this particular weekend watching them play together struck a chord in my heart. I wanted to experience what they were experiencing! They didn’t care who was around, what other people were doing, or that they were loud in the moment. They just ran around and giggled — and you could tell they were experiencing something amazing.
At one point the little girl was standing by a table coloring, and Liam started blowing on her. All the sudden, they burst out into major giggles. Liam even threw his head back several times from the hilarity of the moment! My heart seriously fluttered.
Where do we lose that? Where do insecurities and care for opinions of others creep in to haunt our freedom and steal our joy? When do we actually begin to care that our joy and laughter may be annoying someone else? When do we start thinking it is ok to keep our composure and just “act cool” for the sake of avoiding judgment? When do we begin allowing our circumstances to dictate the amount of joy we have? While we’re at it, where in the world do we even find true joy?
This is not a plea for us to run around like crazy wild women out in public because we feel like it, of course! But do you care so much about what other people think that you don’t participate in things that truly bring you joy? What’s holding you back from painting that canvas you’ve had tucked away in the closet for a few months because you don’t want someone else to judge what you create? Why don’t you start up that business that you get great delight from participating in? Why don’t you GO FOR IT in that area of ministry because God’s has called you to it? Why don’t you call up that friend who just makes you LAUGH. The one you always have a great time with… she’s the one who cheers you up and leaves you feeling like you’re one in a million. Is it because you feel like she doesn’t have time for you and you might feel like you’re bugging her? What’s holding you back from raising your hands in praise to our Father during worship? Why don’t you fall on your face before God in worship? What’s holding you back?
God has placed in each of us this amazing ability to feel JOY. Unhindered, free, wild and crazy JOY. The kind of joy where, even though we aren’t at that moment, we feel like we’re running around like crazy barefooted kiddos, laughing and enjoying the moment. Most times as women we get wrapped up in our circumstances, our busyness, and the craziness of life that we forget to enjoy it. Experiencing real joy is thrown to the back burner because… I’ve got to pay this bill, my husband is getting on my nerves, my kids don’t listen, there’s dinner to cook, there’s a game to get to, there’s another meeting to attend, there’s laundry to tend to, there’s a shower I really should eventually take, there’s no one to help, there’s someone to impress and we just feel like we might lose our minds. So where’s the joy gone? We falsely wrapped up our joy into our circumstances and allowed Satan to steal it all.
Yet, if we come to the SOURCE of the joy, we can take it all back. We can snatch it out of the enemy’s hands and embrace it. Our Father wants us to embrace the joy he so richly lavishes on us. So, what’s holding you back from experiencing this wild, crazy joy? Take it back. Own it. It’s there for you! After all, joy-filled women are the prettiest kind, aren’t they?
“I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”