After school today, Mark (our five year old caboose), asked me to swing him. Without a skipping a beat or giving a second thought, I put down what I was doing and went outside to swing him with joy in my heart.
I didn’t really notice the joy or ease in granting his simple request. But somewhere in our simple quiet time together, I remembered the burden and blech I had in my heart last time he asked me to push him on the swing. And realized we have both changed quite a bit.
Just under two years ago, when Mark and Roman came to live with us, there is no way I would have chosen to go swing Mark. In fact, I would have chosen most ANYTHING not to be with him. I knew he wanted to swing. I knew that swinging was actually calming and smoothing to him. But there is no way I would have done it. He was angry, weary and hurt from the previous situation he had come from and it didn’t take me long to become angry, weary and hurt from him bringing all that into my heart and our home.
I wouldn’t go swing him. I didn’t go swing him. But my friend did. She came over many times just to swing this angry young boy so that this angry, exhausted mom could just breathe. It was a simple, selfless way to help me and Mark. And it was part of joy being refilled.
Never on those days would I think I would ever have joy with Mark. Ever.
But God knew I would. God was already changing both of our hearts. He was filling our hearts with Joy. It didn’t happen over night. It wasn’t always pretty. But moment by moment, choice by choice, day by day God softened Mark’s heart and God softened my heart. And with each of those changes, He began to fill our hearts with Joy … unshakable, “only God can do it” Joy! You know how I know He changed our hearts? Because I love this little guy so very very deeply … and I have a hunch that he loves me too. (crazy huh?!)
It made me think as we continued swinging … what is in our lives today that we think we can never have joy in again? Who can we call on to help push us through those weary days?
Know this … God is in the business of restoring Joy. Let Him do so in your life and let him use you in the life of others
*before I pushed “send” on this … Mark came in and threw an ugly fit. And guess what? I still have Joy. God restores it well and He restores it for good.