A Pure Joy of Childhood

There are few things that encompass the pure, unadulterated joys of childhood like a freshly raked pile of leaves. There is just something about a pile of leaves that draws children to it, and the look of pure joy on their faces is one that you just don’t see other times of the year.

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November is a time when we reflect on all the things we are thankful for. Of course, we’re thankful for our family and friends, the food on our table and the roof over our head. This year I want to think about it a little differently. This year instead of sharing with you how thankful I am for my family (which I am very thankful for), maybe I’ll share with you that I’m thankful that on the fifth and sixth days God created all the creatures of the sky and the water and that walk on the Earth because I have a little boy who loves animals and wants to know everything about every one of them.

This year I’m thankful to live in a place that has four seasons. I’m thankful for the leaves that turn such beautiful colors and fall to the ground. I’m thankful for the piles they get put in and I’m even thankful that the city is slow to pick them up this year. I’m thankful God had the foresight to create trees that would lose their leaves so all these years later I could be thankful for the joy my boys get from them.

I’m thankful for the technology at made a phone I can carry in my pocket that has a great camera so I can capture that look of joy and then share it here so you can experience it to.

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“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.” Psalms 95:1-2

Jesus is hurting with you

Last week I was sitting on my porch watching 2 crazy little boys race their big wheels up and down the drive. I was wanting to write, but I didn’t have a topic so I pulled out my Bible. Before I started to read, I prayed that God would lead me to the right words and that I would write what He wanted me to.

I started at the beginning of Matthew and read through the Sermon on the Mount. Then the wind picked up and began flipping the pages of my Bible backwards towards what I had already read. I know that God works in ways I can’t begin to understand, and I know that He controls the wind, so I just let the pages move.

The pages flipped slowly. At any time I could have stopped them, but I let them go. Finally, they stopped flipping, and my Bible was open to the introduction to Matthew. The Bible I use the most is a study Bible written in New King James Version. Across from the introduction is a study page all about hurting.

And just like that I knew what I was supposed to share with you.

There are so many different kinds of hurts. There are emotional hurts. The pain of loss, depression, disappointment, heartbreak. During times of emotional hurt it can be hard to see God. You can feel so alone. And then there are physical hurts, the brokenness of the body, the pains that may seem to be never-ending (or may even actually be never-ending.) It’s a place where it can feel like God has abandoned you to your physical pains.
 

Emotional hurts

 

When we first started talking about having kids, it was an exciting time. I had always wanted to be a mom. It was the only real career goal I ever had. And in no time at all, I was pregnant. I’m not sure I can accurately describe the complete joy I felt. Or the absolute devastation I felt a couple of weeks later when I miscarried. And how it was even higher joy and lower devastation a few months later when it happened again.

Those were some dark times in my life. Even though I was surrounded by friends and family who loved me, I felt alone. Even though they were hurting too, I felt alone in my pain. There are several months that I have almost no memory from.

But the reality is that I was never alone in my hurts. Besides the friends and family that were hurting, Jesus was hurting with me.

 

Jesus hurts with you

 

He knows what it’s like to lose someone you love. He knows the hurt of betrayal. He knows the hurt of abandonment. He knows the hurt of being falsely accused of something. Whatever your hurt, you can know that Jesus has been there.

One of the shortest verses in the Bible has been on my heart a lot the last couple of weeks. John 11:35 “Jesus wept.” If you start at the beginning of John 11, it tells the story of the death of Lazarus. He was a friend of Jesus, and even though Jesus could (and did) bring Lazarus back to life, He still wept over the death of His friend.

John 11:14-15, “Then Jesus said to them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe.'” Jesus didn’t have to experience the pain of loss, but He did so that not only the disciples but all of us would believe, so we would know that we are not alone. You weep as Jesus wept. Your pain is Jesus’s pain. Your sorrow is His sorrow.

 

Hope

 

Hope is an amazing thing. Hope lessens the hurt.  And not only do we have the hope that tomorrow will be better, that the pain will hurt less, we have the hope of eternity with Jesus in Heaven. In John 14:2, Jesus tells that He is going to prepare a place for us in His Father’s house.

Revelation 21:4 tells us what Heaven will be like, saying, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Someday there will be no pain.

I don’t know what your pain is, and I don’t need to know. What I do know is that you are not alone in your pain. Jesus felt the same pain all those years ago, and He feels them today with you.

Some hurts you never get over. The hurt may lessen, but some hurts last a lifetime. But know, if you believe and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, whatever your hurt is today, it is only temporary.

Jesus conquered the grave so we may have eternity with Him where there is no pain, no hurt, no tears and no suffering.

Someday there will be only joy.

True joy.