I remember when one of my sons started taking guitar lessons. The enthusiastic melodies would echo down the hallway with such a rush that my wife and I would respond, “Keep it down!” Our other son was the singer. At the table. On his bike. And sometimes singing instead of otherwise getting ready, so that my wife and I would interject, “Stop singing!” We became the sound police, but then wondered if it was right to be squelching such abounding enthusiasm.
“With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12:3). Dropping a bucket into a well of fresh water is no chore, and there is no grumbling to be heard, only abounding enthusiasm, whistling a happy tune, fully expecting the bucket to return. Filled. This is joy. Joy is not a perspective shaped by circumstances. Joy shapes circumstances.
Like two young boys strumming or singing but definitely not uptight about the world’s problems. Or like the cancer patient who can smile on the same day she receives a radiation treatment. Or like the lonely widow who can laugh about special memories on the anniversary of her husband’s death. Or like the professional who says, “It’s okay; God has other things in mind,” after he loses his job. “Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you” (Isaiah 12:6). The Lord gives us abounding enthusiasm. That is the sound of soul.
Pastor Daron Lindemann is pastor at a new mission start in Pflugerville, Texas. Previously he served in downtown Milwaukee and in Irmo, South Carolina. Daron has authored articles or series for Forward in Christmagazine, Preach the Word, and his own weekly Grace MEMO devotions. He lives in Texas with his wife, Cara, and has two adult sons.
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