I can sometimes find myself humming this children’s song,
 “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy
Down in my heart, Down in my heart, Down in my heart
I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy
Down in my heart, Down in my heart to stay”
What is JOY for me?
What is JOY for you?
I stopped today to consider “what is JOY” when I found myself humming this song..
Maybe JOY for me does look different than JOY for you.
For me, JOY is whatever makes my heart sing……
~ Meet me to go and help another and my heart dances with JOY from our time of fellowship.
~ A long walk in the CH7 neighborhood with the sun shining down on my face and me praying to our God…oh what JOY!
~ Whether on a Sunday morning in church, or with my small therapy group, or in my car listening to Gospel music, I love lifting up my arms in JOY to worship Him. Yes, even in my car.
However, I believe God wants to draw me out of my ever present “comfort zone”.  I believe He wants me to find JOY in all the moments of my life…the good and not so good moments.  A few weeks ago, I was experiencing JOY because I and many other friends have been able to help a few neighbors in the Challenge House 7 neighborhood, and also share God with them in the process of helping. Needs were met and one of those neighbors helped is now attending church. Answered prayers!!!  During that same time period, I went to a meeting which was so “grating on my last nerve” that I felt like I wanted to get down on my knees and cry out to God with every emotion but JOY!!  As I left the meeting, I began to hum the JOY JOY JOY song,
And I just knew, God was thumping me on the heart and saying,  Find JOY in all that you do,  Find JOY even in the small hard rocks you have to crawl over in the course of your day….
Praise Him with JOY even when “your last nerve is raw and screaming for the salve of grace and mercy”
True Joy comes only when we are focused upon walking with the Lord and esteeming others (Phil 2:3-5 KJV)
JOY is the serious business of Heaven…and our Precious Lord.
“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with JOY that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:8-9)
JOY IS A PERSONAL DECISION.  It is His JOY that remains in us that makes our JOY full regardless of our circumstances.  JOY in full-bloom has the FRAGRANCE of GOD.  When we allow the Holy Spirit to grow the fruit of JOY in our lives, we offer a hard rocky world a glimpse of Jesus.  I can grow the fruit of JOY in the soil of my soul if I sink my roots near the Source of Living Water.