This is me beside a sculpture in Evergreen, Colorado entitled "Shout!"
This is me choosing Joy!
“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
In the Message, part of Hebrews 12:2 reads “Study how He did it.”
Beth Moore tells of hiking with her eagle-eyed husband. They will be walking and he’ll point out an animal. But she can’t see it. So he’ll point and she’ll lean her head on his shoulder and look straight down his arm and pointing finger and spy the beautiful sight.
When I read Hebrews 12:2 this week I thought of Beth and her husband. We are to fix our eyes on Jesus. But what is He looking at? As I lean on his shoulder and close one eye, I spy it: The joy set before him.
In studying how Jesus did life, I see he didn’t focus on the horror of the cross or the constant persecution He faced. He looked to the Joy.
This past week, I’ve experienced many moments of sadness, restlessness and trouble. And I could focus on that and sit and complain to you for hours over coffee. But I’m studying how Jesus did life and I don’t see Him sitting at a Starbucks with a friend whining.
“Oy vey! Why don’t those Pharisees like me? You won’t believe what people are saying about me? It hurts. And have I told you about the cross? The pain I’ll have to endure! Oy vey!”
No, he focused on the joy set before Him. So as I look at the past week, I focus on the joy-filled moments God gave me.
- I sat in a coffee shop and insecurity attacked. “Am I doing these Joyvotions right, God?” At that moment, a lady named Sarah Ritz came up and introduced herself and told me she reads these and loves them. That’s Joy from God.
- I got to visit with Wendy Berryhill on Friday and Joni and Vern Bosky on Saturday – three old friends from San Diego. The laughter and warmth from being with folks who play a part in my memories is Joy.
- I met with my editor and planned my first novel’s release in September and the book launch in October. Dreams are becoming reality. Sweet Joy.
- The questions about why I overeat are being answered. Painful, yes, but tremendous hope is born and that creates Joy.
- I watched Noah in his first high school football scrimmage. My little boy is growing up. Bittersweet joy.
- I celebrated my brother Phil’s birthday. I just love this man. And I got to see my nephew’s eighteen-year-old girlfriend, Natalie, who is beating leukemia. (Pray for her to deliver the final knockout blow.) To see the flesh and blood handiwork of Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals, is complete Joy!
Join me and study how Jesus did life. I believe that the joy that Jesus saw before Him included being present with God and folks from the disciples to you and me believing in His gift of salvation. I also think He saw the joy in us, that joy we get to have every day, because of Him.