My daughter looked at me with those sorrowful brown eyes. In her hands she clutched the wooden cross mounted on a base and one of the ceramic ornaments. She struggled to keep the ornament from appearing cracked. "What happened, did you break something?" She nodded yes. I already knew what had happened. Still, those were my favorite Christmas ornaments that hung on each side of that wooden cross. They had simply spelled: J O Y. I liked to keep them out all year long because joy was always something I needed, and those were tangible reminders to choose joy daily. It hung from the cross to remind me of why I can have joy -- Jesus died for me. The cross is our centerpiece for our dining room table, symbolic that Jesus was the center of our home. Most of the time we acknowledged its purpose. Today, I refused its nudge to remember. The "Y" on one of the ornaments had previously broken off. We had reattached it with hot glue. But this time, the creme colored ornament had cracked in several places.
It had been "one of those days" when joy was in short supply. It was mostly me. My day had started off on the wrong foot and I didn't bother taking the steps needed to correct it. I just decided to stay mad -- all day long! Unfortunately, the children in my home sensed my irritability, it was obvious. Well, when that ornament broke, it happened after a string of disappointments. As if things weren't bad enough, as I turned the cross over to tighten the screw underneath, the remaining in-tact ornament fell and crashed to the floor at my feet. It served me right, me and my bad attitude. God repeats things to give it special emphasis. Ornament one, broken. Ornament two, broken. Got it, God, loud and clear! This was no doubt God's exclamation point and His finger on that attitude of mine.
It seemed as though we all were frozen in time. My other six children, wide-eyed and jaws dropped, waited with bated breath to see what I would do. "How would mom respond?"
Do you feel as though the world waits with a white-knuckle grip on the steering wheel to see your response to the things that happen in your life?
And why not? We are His witnesses. Well, this Christian picked up those big pieces of J O Y and threw them back on the floor. I repeated this over and over again saying, "This is so true to life!" My shocked and innocent children witnessed their "got-it-all-together" mom have a meltdown. I'm sure they were only seven digits away from updating their dad and only three away from an emergency call. Only tiny pieces and slivers of ornament remain at this point, all on my kitchen floor. A realization came. God made it clear to me that I had been hanging on to yesterday's joy, trying to have it fuel the circumstances of today.
Has this ever been your struggle as well? We forget to, or refuse to, jump into the well spring of His joy that comes with basking in His presence daily.
Isn't God big enough to amply supply new joy for each new morning? YES. Yes He is.
"You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:11
As I looked at the ceramic ruins on the floor, I grabbed the broom and dustpan to sweep it up. Why? Because the temporary insanity had passed and my kids needed to witness something positive; me cleaning up my own mess. Those pieces of ornament still sit in a plastic bag in my room to remind me to seek God for the joy of the day. He, who has given us every reason to be joyful, bids us to come and draw deep from the well of His presence.
Can I encourage you, Friend, to send your ladle of praise and thanksgiving deep into the well of His goodness? Let it sink, fully immersed, so when drawn upward joy flows over the brim. Let the clean, cool water of joy refresh you in your daily routine, allowing you to be a conduit of refreshing joy to others.
Well, my kids seemed relieved when Mommy returned to her senses. And, my sweet little girl relaxed, she knew she was off the hook.