Today is brought to you by the fruit of the Spirit, Joy. Oddly enough, all of my coworkers are extremely grouchy today. Not me though, I'm just glad it's Friday and that I'm feeling 83% better than I was at the start of the week. This makes me joyful. If you take that word apart it becomes Joy Full. Full of joy! If you have a container that is completely full, you can't put anything else in it. Except maybe rice and sand which seems to get into everything, but that's beside the point. When we say we are joyful, we shouldn't have anything else in us. Not hurt, anger, anxiety, pride or fear. Sometimes we can be so filled with joy that it pushes things out, like tears. Those kind of tears are the only ones that I don't mind shedding. Other tears mean I've experienced loss, hurt or great fear. Not my idea of a good time.
Things can bring you momentary happiness, but I think joy comes from sharing our lives with others. Being a help or encouragement to people, or committing an act of random kindness can bring joy. A child discovering something new brings them and the people around them joy.
In fact, I think children are great vessels of joy to the world. Most of the time they are just doing life the only way they know how and don't realize how precious they are. They can't always communicate, but often know when we need a surprise hug or sweet smile. What amazing little creatures they are, what great gifts to our lives!
Another aspect of joy is when we rejoice. It's when we have so much joy in us that we can't do anything but share it. The prefix "re" is so good for words. Recreate, reproduce, rejoin, renew, revive, rejoice! How great of an impact we can have on someone else when we revive our spirit with joy and begin to rejoice, even in our trials. Nehemiah 8:10, the last part of the verse says, "Don't be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength".
In whatever you are facing, you have the joy of the Lord available to be your strength. Through times when it feels like all your strength is gone and the fight to go on seems too hard, cry out to God. He is the savior of the world and the real joy-giver.