Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"Sparrow's Joy"

      After the time of refreshments during our fellowship this past Sunday evening, our beagle Sparrow discovered that half a lemon cake had been left in a fortuitous and accessible place.  As we began our time of prayer, I heard the crinkling of aluminum foil in our dining room.  I knew immediately the origin of the sound, excused myself, and headed for the scene of the crime.  Upon entering the dining room, I witnessed a beagle tail wagging at the speed of hummingbird wings, and Sparrow's entire head buried under the aluminum foil that had previously covered the cake.  "Dogs do go to Heaven!" Sparrow joyfully concluded as she took advantage of her good fortune.  The sight presented such an image of joy that I almost hated to separate said beagle and said cake.

    "God... giveth us richly all things to enjoy" (I Timothy 6:17).

    The Lord could have made His universe without the potential for joy and enjoyment.  He could have made His creatures without the emotional and physical capacities for gladness that make life more than merely a matter of survival.  Or perhaps He couldn't have.  Certainly He couldn't have!  No, God must act always in accordance with His nature, character, and way.  Thus, He made lemons, flour, sugar, eggs, and butter with flavor (especially when skillfully combined!), and He made beagles with the taste buds to savor and enjoy the good gifts of their Maker.  Even more, He made human beings in His nature for the sublime purpose of a greater joy, and a deeper and truer enjoyment.

    "I will rejoice in the Lord; I will joy in the God of my salvation" (Habakkuk 3:18).

   What does it say about a Creator who desires His creatures to feel joy?  Everything.  It says everything.  And, it says it so beautifully and powerfully that eternity will not suffice in our discovery of the goodness of God.  To enjoy a gift, in whatever form, opens a door into the heart of the Giver.  It allows us to enjoy Him.  This is why Scripture commands that we give thanks for our meals (I Timothy 4:3).  In so doing, we experience not simply the flavor of food, but rather we "taste and see that that the Lord is good!" (Psalm 34:8).  God made us for Himself and for the mutual joy of a living bond and relationship through the Lord Jesus Christ.  Thus, only in Him do we find the true joy of our joys.  "In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11).

     When we acknowledge and give thanks for our Lord's gifts, we partake not only of the blessing, but of Him.  Our presently limited spiritual awareness may not allow us to fully comprehend or sense the reality of such grace, but we partake nevertheless.  "Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life.  He that cometh to Me shall never hunger" (John 6:35).  Sparrow's joy this past Sunday evening reminded me of God's loving intention that His creatures experience the gladness of both gift and Giver.  Let us partake of such Truth, allowing it to permeate heart and mind with the Light that says much, that says everything about who our Lord is.

"Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good.  Sing praises unto the Lord, for it is pleasant."
(Psalm 135:3)

Weekly Memory Verse
    For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
(Romans 5:7-8)


No comments: