Simple Joy

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may

 overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

 

 

It was a simple, single word: “Hi!”

But it was so symbolic.

My neighbor, an Asian who spoke no English, had spoken that single word. After moving in several months prior. Our first meeting was a humorous event. His nephew and my daughter had played basketball. I walked over to introduce myself and to say a warm welcome. He stood silently while I greeted him and spoke a few moments. After my dialogue was over, he turned to his eight-year-old nephew with a question mark on his face.

The light began to dawn on me. I asked if he spoke English.

“No,” replied the boy.

“Please tell him I am her mother,” I gestured toward my daughter, “and I say ‘hello.’”

In a short staccato verbiage, my message was relayed. And then the gentleman looked me squarely in the eye and returned my wave and smiled.

I often saw him multiple times every week. When I did, I kept things simple. A simple wave of my hand and a single word, “Hi!” He would just smile.

This went on for several weeks, until last week when he astonished me with his own greeting of “hi!”

After returning his smile, I excitedly entered my home and rushed to tell my family that I finally had a response. They sweetly teased me about my marginal success of teaching just one word, but I was truly excited.

Does God get that excited when one of his children masters a simple task or truth? Imagine Him watching as we struggle to comprehend what some believe are simple things in the Christian walk and His great excitement and celebration when we do!

Every believer struggles with something. No one understands every verse in the Bible. Each one of us finds one sin or another a true temptation.

But, what joy we and God experience when we directly and continuously apply ourselves to the task.

I think the joy I experienced is nothing compared to the joy God experiences when we devote ourselves to learning a truth or choosing paths to lead us from temptation.

What happens once you have learned something new or experienced victory over a struggle?

You have great joy and a great hope for the future.

As Romans 15:13 tells us, when we follow after God, He will guide us with joy and peace and His Holy Spirit will lead us forward with hope.

One word.

Such joy! Such a sense of accomplishment.

And a great hope for what might be learned in the future.

Nothing you are trying to learn or accomplishment is too small or seemingly insignificant when you are trying to follow Him. Even “small accomplishments” are cause for great rejoicing.

Both in heaven, and here on earth!

Reflections:

Identify areas in your life that need some work.

Large or small, what are some simple steps you can take this week?

Prayer: Dear Lord, Thank You for Your great love for me. Part of Your call for me is to learn obedience. Please help me to focus my heart and mind on the simple steps I can take to draw closer to You. Remind me how You celebrate each success, no matter how “small.” Thank You for Your joy, peace and hope as we tackle each day together. Amen.

Thanks for reading! Please return by Monday, August 3, for the next post.

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