DayBreaks for 09/30/13 – Desperate for Joy
Psalm 9:2 (NLT) I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.
“Researchers at the University of Tokyo have developed a mirror that makes a person appear happy even when not. A built-in camera tracks facial features in real time, then tweaks the image to turn up the corners of the mouth and to create the beginnings of a smile in the eyes. Of what practical use would such a mirror be? Other Japanese researchers, according to a Slate.com report in August, believe that happy-face mirrors in retail stores would improve
shoppers’ dispositions and lead to more sales.” [Slate.com, 8-7-2013]
Have we become so disheartened that we need mirrors to make it appear that we smile when inside we are groaning and filled with pain? It would appear so. Ah, the lies we tell ourselves!
Imagine going into a store and trying on a suit or a dress and then you go look at yourself in the mirror to see if you like how you look. Now imagine that when you see your reflection, you think to yourself, “I look hideous in this!”, but your face in the mirror is smiling at you!
Pain is real. Our world is so desperate for joy. In just this past 10 days, we’ve seen shopping malls invaded by gunmen in Kenya, two men in suicide vests who blew themselves up in a crowded churchyard in northern Pakistan, terrorists in Nigeria who entered dorms of sleeping university students and killed young men and women as they slept, and again, another bombing just today in Pakistan. I can understand the temptation to not turn on the TV or look at the news.
But you know, all that does is keep us living in a fantasy world of our own choosing rather than the real world in which we live. It doesn’t stop the pain from existing in the world. It may keep us from knowing about it, but isn’t that a bit like looking into a mirror at a false image?
Joy. Where does it come from? It doesn’t come from burying our heads in the sand. Jesus didn’t hide himself from the pain of the world – he took it on and worked to bring joy to this broken place. We are called to do the same. As today’s verse reminds us – we are to be filled with joy because of Him!
Do you wish you lived in a more joyful world? Start with where you are. Be joyful. And joy will spread out like ripples on a pond!
Neh. 8:10 – “…the joy of the Lord is my strength!“
PRAYER: Lord, there is a great witness to the world today when Your people are filled with joy! May we reflect the joy that only comes from you everywhere we go. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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