Sunday, June 2, 2024

The God Who Chuckles


By: Paula Short

Have you ever noticed how a young child runs? It's not a jog, not a walk – it's a full-on, arms-pumping, unrestrained sprint! They don't worry about how their hair looks or if their socks match. They simply see something that excites them, and they run. They run towards a parent, a friend, or anyone who will share in their joy.

That's the kind of uninhibited enthusiasm Isaiah 40:31 describes: "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint." We are invited to come to God with that same childlike expectancy, not just in times of worry or need but in times of pure, overflowing joy.

Imagine this: You're having a perfect day. The sun is warm on your skin, the birds are singing, and your iced tea tastes precisely how you like it. In that moment of pure happiness, wouldn't it be amazing to run to Jesus, just like you would run to a loved one? To tell him all about your beautiful day, and to thank him for the little things – the sunshine, the birdsong, the refreshing drink, even the soft tissue you used to wipe away a happy tear.

Because, you see, He loves those moments too. He delights in your joy! He's the one who created the sunshine, the birdsong, the perfect cup of iced tea. He's the one who provides the little things that make life so beautiful. And He wants you to share your excitement with him, just like a child running to share a new discovery with a parent or grandparent.

I've been trying to shift my mindset to do exactly that. We often see Jesus as a solemn figure, someone we approach with reverence and seriousness, especially when burdened with problems. But the Bible paints a different picture. Jesus partied with sinners, shared meals with tax collectors, and spent time with children. He reveled in life's simple joys (think of the miracle at Cana, where he turned water into wine for a wedding celebration!).

Imagine Jesus' face lighting up as you run to him, breathless and excited, to tell him about your day. Picture him wrapping his arms around you, a gentle chuckle escaping his lips at your unrestrained enthusiasm, silly and goofy and mis matched socks. That's the kind of connection we're invited to have with him – a connection filled with joy, love, and a childlike dependence on his constant presence.

Reflection Questions

  1. When was the last time you ran to Jesus with childlike joy?
  2. What are some of the little things in your life that you can thank Him for today?
  3. How can you cultivate more present-moment awareness, noticing the beauty and joy in everyday experiences and then turning to share them with God?

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