Does anyone remember Vacation Bible School? Remember the little songs sung that burn in the brain forever? “Father Abraham”, I am sure, was one written by already weary adults to try to tire out high-strung kiddos. Then there’s the “I may never march in the infantry, ride in the cavalry, shoot the artillery. I may never fly over the enemy, but I’m in the LORD’s army. Yes, Sir!” That was another action packed song that probably juiced kids up more than calmed them down. I’d be remiss if I didn’t include, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart” which usually turned into a screaming response because the leaders kept asking, “Where?”
While scouring the internet, I came across a blast from my past, scripture memory songs. These are so cool! I can’t tell you how many verses I memorized through song and I’d like to share this one with you. You may not care for the style, but I hope you’ll give it a try as it just might help you memorize this portion of scripture.
And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!” Nehemiah 8:10 NLT
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving! Can you picture that? I admit it. I eavesdropped on Laura while she was showering the other evening. I stood outside the bathroom door and listened to her sing and I could not help but smile. Singing is important! The girls sing often and I love to hear them sing. It’s joy spilling out of their hearts. Father God must feel the same way about us when we burst out with songs of thanksgiving.
Mom says that when I was younger I’d sit at the top of the stone steps in our yard and sing “Jesus Loves Me” at the top of my lungs. I can only imagine what that must have sounded like to the neighbors as I have a pretty good set of pipes.
But sometimes singing isn’t so easy.
Singing in the rain is fun when it’s July, 80 degrees, and no one can stand the heat anymore. But when it’s a saturating downpour that lasts for an agonizing amount of time in a season that’s prone to being cold anyway, it’s no longer fun. It’s exhausting and frustrating beyond belief. That’s why joy, this supernatural gift of the LORD, is so important. It keeps the outer elements from penetrating our hearts. It’s glorious! But it’s difficult in certain seasons, isn’t it? So how do we do it?
I listened to a minister this past week who was encouraging the attendees to laugh. “Ha, ha, ha ha. Unpaid bills? Ha, ha, ha, ha. Sickness in your body? Ha, ha, ha, ha.” It seemed absurd but I joined the service via the internet. The laughter sounded mechanical at best, ridiculous at worst. I did it anyway. In a matter of moments it became sincere and I literally felt lighter. Why? Because the joy of the LORD is our strength. Laughter does good like a medicine. Through Christ we’ve been made more than conquerors. We win!
Try laughing. It you can’t do it on your own, try doing it with this video. Laughter really is contagious–Share some!
For those of you who can, do you remember feeling carefree as a child? Do you remember how easy the laughter and the wonder came? Make an effort to remember those things that cause joy to bubble up inside of you. Do you still allow yourself to indulge in those things? Wear your p.j.s for an entire day (unless you’re a nudie, for that may prove problematic 🙂 ). Have a movie marathon. Color. Enter the world of play with a child. Wonder again at the majesty of creation. Sing songs of thanksgiving for they usher you into glory. Laugh like a child, laugh for no reason at all. Let me remind you today that we are not God’s grownups, we are His children. Let us return to laughter and wonder because Jesus said,
“I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:3 NLT
Everyday is not going to be a joy-filled day. We live in an ever-increasing hostile and violent world. Bad things do happen that are beyond our control. Even without the “bad” things, life is sometimes just plain exhausting. The mundane things of life can make us feel like we’re being sanded down like a board. So then, it comes to this: CHOOSE. Choose to sing anyway for God inhabits the praises of His people. Saying you can not sing is not an excuse for the Word says to make a joyful noise as unto the LORD (Psalm 100:1). Choose to laugh anyway because our enemy is an arrogant cuss who won’t stay around and be a laughingstock. Join me in a conscious effort to try to choose joy on a regular basis and let’s see what a difference joy makes.
This is a fun video and a great song from King and Country. “Joy” is one of my dance favorites.