Joy just happened to be the theme of Camp Life in Zambia last summer.  Right now a thousand songs are running through my head (and lips).

I can hear the Zambian children chant:


It amazed me everyday (and every minute) in Zambia to watch the children of a third world country have JOY.  We were a bunch of Americans who traveled miles and miles to bring JOY to them.

Well, I must confess that I was taught a few things.  Or reminded.  It takes a 10, 000 mile trip to reiterate a fact I obviously tend to forget.

Joy has nothing to do with circumstances.  Well, I certainly act as if it does! But what is joy?  We taught the children at Camp Life that no matter how ugly it gets for them (and it gets very very very ugly for most of them) they can find pure joy in the Lord, serving others, and taking care of themselves last.  Sounds kinda strange when the majority of the children are not able to eat more than once a day.

Definition according to my friend, Mr. Webster:

Joy:  the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : delight

For some reason I don’t completely buy it.  I have learned in my almost 40 years that joy is given by the Holy Spirit….or at least the joy I want for myself and my three darlings.  True, I tend to feel and express great emotion when evoked by sucess, good fortune, etc.  Finding JOY in it all is quite the challenge for me.  I do believe it is a challenge for most of us, esp. Americans.

Nehemiah 8:10  The Joy of the Lord is your strength.

I choose joy for my children, joy that gives them strength.

Lord, may my children be filled with “the joy given by the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:6).


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