Overflow With Joy


Have you ever met someone who just overflows with the "Joy of the Lord?" I certainly have, but one experience really stands out in my mind because it happened recently.

This last July my family and I were on vacation, and I was having my quiet time down by the beach, sitting in a lawn chair. I had decided early on in this vacation that I would try to get alone for a few minutes at the start of every day, so I could read my Bible and pray. (Let me say here that I've taken more then a few vacations where I did not do this, and I can attest with confidence that I am a nicer mommy and a happier wife, if I take the time to be alone with God each day.)

So anyway, I was sitting a few feet from the most amazing green/blue ocean water I have ever seen, just praising God for the beauty of it all. The waves were rolling in, and a brilliant blue sky hosted large puffy clouds, a balmy breeze rustled the palm trees above my head and all I could think was "this is absolutely glorious." And as I sat there, just lost in it all, I noticed a balding middle-aged man standing knee deep in the water, about twenty feet in front of me. He was looking around at the beauty and then suddenly he lifted his hands high in the air, as in exultation. What a wonderful sight!

He was overflowing with God's amazing goodness and when that happens - it cannot be contained. A few minutes later he headed up toward the condo complex and as he did he passed me and took notice of the Bible on my lap. He stopped and said to me "Since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made… Romans 1:20" Obviously at that point we struck up a conversation and had a pleasant discourse that lasted a minute or two and then he was gone. But what I was left with was a touch from God, administered by another believer's childlike exuberance over God's delightful creation.

Oh, why must we be so very staid most of the time? God has done so much for us, revealing his goodness and majesty to us in so many ways. Why are we so prone to put a "lid on it" and keep it all to ourselves. I was so deeply touched by this fellow Christian and his willingness to "speak out" what he was thinking. And I can tell you with certainty, that the joy he was experiencing overflowed onto me as he spoke out that piece of scripture. In fact the first thing I did when I returned to the condo was to tell my husband about the experience and relate to him how inspiring it was.

We underestimate the effect we can have on the people around us. We underestimate the power and anointing that is on God's word. We underestimate the power that is in joy-filled actions and words. And in a world where it's completely acceptable to scream your lungs out while attending a football game, maybe we should feel the freedom to shout out "Thank You Lord!" Next time we see a gorgeous rainbow or shimmering mountain stream. Because we may never know the profound affect that our adoration of God may have in the life of another. And several years ago, it happened just like that:

While I was skiing with the kindergarten class of Crowley Christian School, a man that I recognized as being a pharmacist in Bishop skied past me singing fairly loudly. Since he was skiing a whole lot faster then the group I was supervising, I only caught the words "Halleluiah" sung beautifully several times. And as I turned around to take a look, I noticed his face was smiling and joyful (I can still see it now in my minds eye). He was literally overflowing with the joy of the Lord and it greatly impacted me that day. I had been struggling along with a class of brand new skiers and it just seemed like a long, hard day. But then this man skied by, obviously lost in the beauty of God's creation, and it was at that point that I started to enjoy the day. His contagious joy splashed on me as he sang to the Lord, uncaring of what others thought, and I caught his perspective.

Joy is contagious! The joy of the Lord can be like a glass of ice-cold water on a hot day. God desires to refresh others with the joy you may be experiencing - don't keep it to yourself - let it overflow!

Paula Friedrichsen is available to speak at your church or ladies retreat: 760-935-4295 pjfministries@hotmail.com

Paula Friedrichsen is a Christian Speaker and newspaper columnist from Mammoth Lakes, California. She has developed "The Abundant Life Seminar" to educate and inspire women toward greater fulfillment - spiritually, physically and relationally. To schedule her for your upcoming conference / retreat, or to learn more about this presentation (or other topics Paula speaks on) go to her website www.pfministries.com - or call 760-935-4295

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