DayBreaks for 12/15/15: Joy, Dogs and God’s Children
SPOKANE, Wash. – “Washington state researchers report discovering what might be the sound of dog laughter. Nancy Hill, director of Spokane County Animal Protection, said she was skeptical when researchers first told her noise would affect other dogs. “I thought: Laughing dogs? A sound that we’re gonna isolate and play in the shelter? I was a real skeptic…until we played the recording here at the shelter.” Hill said when the scientists played the sound of a dog panting over the loudspeaker, the shelter’s resident dogs just continued barking. But when they played what they believe is the dog version of laughing, all 15 barking dogs became quiet within about a minute.”
There are many things in our world that are contagious and most of them scare us: bird flu, ebola, AIDS, hepatitis, STD’s, malaria, the plague, terrorism and even the common cold. Chances are that none of us will ever get those things (except, of course, for colds!), but they are all highly contagious once they break into human contact.
There is perhaps one thing in the world that is more contagious than disease: joy. All it takes is for someone to start to smile in a room full of people, and others will soon follow suit. Laughter, as Reader’s Digest reminds us, is “the best medicine.”
1 Peter 1:8-9 talks about the kind of joy we have because of our trust in Christ: You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him, you trust him; and even now you are happy with a glorious, inexpressible joy. Your reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.
Is your life characterized by glorious, inexpressible joy? What affect do you have on others who are stressed, angry, hateful? There are people “barking” all around us who need to know about the joy that is in the heart of the children of God, especially during this time of the year. Chances are that they’ll never see it if it isn’t visible on our faces and if it isn’t heard in our own laughter and words.
TODAY’S PRAYER: Jesus, may our lives and faces be changed to demonstrate what knowing you does for our disposition. May our faces reflect your glory, may our presence reflect your joy, and may we overflow with joy each day for the rest of our lives, knowing that our future is safe and sure in your nail-scarred hands. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2015 by Galen C. Dalrymple.