“For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.” Luke 1:44
“There seems to be less joy at Christmas than there used to be.” My husband made this observation recently, and we both agreed that as the festivities have overshadowed the Birth, the joy has gradually seeped out of the season. All that’s left is the gifts, decorations, food, traffic, long lines, flurry, frustration, and debt. Intermittent happiness and laughter, but precious little real joy.
Six months into her pregnancy, over-aged mother-to-be, Elizabeth, must have been glad to see her young cousin, Mary, coming to the door. But before she could give a word of greeting, Mary said, “Hello, Elizabeth,” and suddenly the baby boy in her womb could not contain himself. Long before he spoke those striking words of recognition at the appearance of Jesus, “Behold the Lamb of God…”, John introduced Him to his mother here by leaping for joy in her womb. And Elizabeth had the Spiritual discernment to know what it was. Because of “the fruit of [Mary’s] womb,” she was literally filled with joy.
I know that feeling.
Sometimes the abiding joy of the presence of God cannot be constrained and fairly leaps within me, mostly in personal prayer, or praise, or when I’m reading His words. Often when I’m singing, or when I’m writing (bless His name!) I feel I’ll burst with love and adoration for the Savior of my soul and Sustainer of my life. No other love I have can rival it for sheer joy.
I would contend that there is no way to be in the presence of God without experiencing joy. We may know Him and love Him and have His peace; but when we enter His presence, says Psalm 16:11, there is “fulness of joy,” whether you’re a babe in the womb or a aged saint at the end of life’s journey. Joy is ageless.
My wish for you this year is that your heart will “leap for joy” in presence of the Christ Child, now and always.
Where’s the joy? Right here!