(Glorifying God devotions by Pastor Chris)
I love children. This is one of my grandnephews. He is a ball of energy and fun. Best thing about him is his contagious laughter.
The littlest of things – jumping on a sofa, running around a room, being tickled, playing with his cousins, listening to a story – draws out the heartiest laughter. And when it’s something he really enjoys – it grows into laughter tsunami!
Makes us wonder why we adults are so joyless? When was the last time you broke out into spontaneous, not faked, laughter from a carefree heart?
There seems to be an inverse relationship between age and joy. The older we get, the less real joy. At least, we can agree on this: the more we age, the less spontaneous laughter.
Is it social convention or is this learnt behaviour?
That is why the evergreen hit song, My Favourite Things, from The Sound of Music has some nuggets of wisdom: “When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I am feeling sad. I simply remember my favourite things and then I don’t feel so bad!”
The ultimate favourite thing for a Christian is the Cross of Jesus Christ. How can thinking of Jesus dying a most cruel death on a most cruel cross be a believer’s true joy?
Jesus’ loving and sacrificial death on the Cross is the cosmic sponge that soaks up all the ugliness we are so vulnerable to copping from others or cunningly capable of inflicting on them.
The ugliness of man is much worse than a painful dog bite, a piercing bee sting or a lingering sadness. Our nastiness firstly offends God before it consequently harm others.
So, we get used to thinking lowly of our husbands or wives, speaking unkindly to our parents and behaving badly to our neighbours. We don’t think twice when we treat each other like dirt.
We compromise in our hearts, flirt with our eyes, malign with our lips and betray others in our selfishness – and go on as if nothing bad has happened with God and neighbour.
When we meditate and live our lives relying on Jesus’ death, we behold this liberating truth: “The only way out of the ugliness of man is to behold the beauty of Jesus”.
The only way out of man’s pride and lies destroying us is Jesus’ humility and truth saving us. The only way out of man’s cunning unlove is Jesus’ pure love.
Unhappy? You can try singing My Favourite Things. Or borrow a happy child like my grandnephew. Or, best of all, trust in Jesus as the cosmic sponge to all of life’s ugliness.
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