What is joy? How do we experience joy? The dictionary tells us that joy is deep, more profound than a laugh or a general sense of contentment. Joy is great pleasure or delight. Nehemiah 8:10 states that joy can also be a source of strength – “For the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Today my husband and I experienced the joy of fellowship with a Gamaliel, a migrant worker back in our area for four months. Gamaliel is a husband and the father of a six year old son and a four year old daughter. We sat in our apartment, shared coffee and ate a dish of ice cream. Joy need not be complex. Another friend stopped in to say hello to Gamaliel and received warm hugs just as Lloyd and I did.
Gamaliel was delighted to be in a home where he could talk about faith issues, tell us about the huge success of a conference with three thousand people in his very, very small community. God blessed and provided, people donated and the attendance and ministry was beyond expectations. The joy of the Lord was central to that experience. Gamaliel shared about the music school he and his wife have started as part of the church’s ministry and the need for microphones.
We also listened as Gamaliel spoke of the need for clothes for his son for school and pencil crayons for his daughter who loves to draw. We were strengthened by our time together as we sang a praise chorus, read scripture and prayed for each other.