Inside: Devotional on Joy
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Through the Eyes of Our Children
We need to look no further than our own children to find joy. Children naturally exude joy, while many adults spend their lives trying to reach what they once had.
Recently, I took my children, along with several other family members, on a train ride to “The North Pole”. While on the train ride, the children were able to meet Santa and Mrs. Clause. In addition, they were able to see some of the elves and the toy workshop.
While on the train, we went into a “magic” tunnel, and then we were “transformed” into The North Pole. The North Pole, in actuality, was some random buildings decorated for Christmas. I am not quite sure what the buildings are used for normally.
Now, not to be a cynic, but in my ideal fantasy mind, this train ride and the aforementioned buildings are not the images I have of the North Pole. Sparsely decorated buildings with some random elves walking around are not what I think of when I think of the North Pole. Maybe I have watched too many Christmas movies…
A Child’s Amazement:
But the thing that always amazes me (This is the second time we have done the train ride.) is the joy and excitement of the children. They are so excited. They totally buy into the whole thing, sparse buildings, random elves, and all. The tunnel indeed has some magic. Finally, what really plants this spirit of believing is seeing “real elves” and seeing Santa and Mrs. Clause come out of the buildings. Then, the next thing you know, Santa and Mrs. Clause are on the train! My favorite thing of all is the fact that Santa stops at every kid and listens to their requests. Additionally, you can take as many pictures as you want!
For my children, Santa is real, and it is pure happiness.
I think the Tennessee Valley Railroad does an excellent job with its
resources. However, from my adult cynical point of view, I am amazed that the kids buy the train ride or really anything related to any of the Christmas fantasies. (reindeer poop, Elf on the Shelf, etc..)
The whole trip is worth every penny when you see the joy and hear the laughter of your children. Their joy is completely uninhibited.
Joy is one of those things that we all know we need. Yet many times obtaining joy seems impossible.
But children do not need to look far for joy. It is all around them. The mere mention of Santa and Christmas get children excited. Our children are amazed and transfixed by the lights and magic of the season.
The Joy of Baby Jesus:
Much like our children find joy in the most seemingly simple moments, the miracle of the birth of baby Jesus brought simple, but majestically profound joy. Mary knew this when she gave birth to baby Jesus. She treasured the joy that a little child brings, in addition to the Joy in Jesus, as the Son of God. After the shepherds visited the baby Jesus, we read these words about Mary:
but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them oftenLuke 2:19
Jesus understood the joy of children.
Likewise, Jesus understood the joy of children. That is not to say we need to act like children, but I believe God meant for us to replicate a child’s purity and joy.
14 But Jesus said, Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” 15 And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left.Matthew 19:14
The Greatest Joy and Gift:
It is through the joy and wonderment of Christ and all the great gifts he gives that we can see clearly the Kingdom of God and the Joy that is Jesus’s birth.
And that is the most joyous kind of wonder and magic we need to live our whole lives.
What about you?
Will you stop this season to revel in the joy that is the reason for the season?
Will you pause in merriment and joy as your children unwrap their presents?
Will you revel in the unwrapping of God’s greatest gift, his one, and only son?
Remember to slow down, for, in the slower moments, we see God’s greatest gifts.