Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
You know the type of people. They're "shiny." They're "happy." And you wonder why.
At first encounter, they may seem too good to be true. Alright, they might be downright annoying. But if you give them a minute—and upon closer inspection—you'll find that this is no flimsy façade. Some of them are really and truly reflecting something deep down inside of substance: lives built on a sure foundation that permeates their entire beings.
I've met many of these types in the course of my life. Some have nothing going for them (by the world's standards), and others are at the top of their games (again, by the world's standards).
One such was a successful singer-songwriter who crossed my path years ago when I was engaged in a temporary work assignment. I remember how he pretty much glowed and always seemed "up"—and not in an obnoxious way either. You could just tell that he had something going on inside of him that was lighting up his life.
During one conversation when asked what he liked to read, he shared how he only read the Bible. That was it. No newspapers. No latest suspense novels on his bedside table. Just the Word. And he didn't say it in a pompous, "holier than thou" type of way either. He just sincerely wasn't interested in reading any other book or printed material that was out there.
Different. Perhaps radical. And yet very interesting to me. It explained a lot about why he was so unflappable, focused and always joyful. I wanted what he had.
Other "shiny, happy people" I've known are ones who the world would immediately toss into the reject bin because of their physical disabilities and deformities. Yet, these are some of the most grounded, mature, kind and giving individuals I have ever met. Despite their exterior issues or lack of this or that, they radiate the joy of the Lord. They pour into others' lives (including mine!). Their "shortcomings" or "liabilities" haven't stopped them, and they are constantly seeking out others and refreshing them with their presence.
How do they do this when they could just as easily be bitter about their circumstances in life? It is truly a mystery. And then again, it's not. At least not for those of us who know (or should know) the source of their "shiny" and their "happy." For when you get close to these people, you notice that they're all drawing from the same well to get what they need to survive. They are partaking of the living water that supernaturally quenches our thirst.
"If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him" (John 7:37).
No wonder they are so joyful! They know where the secret source is—except it's not so secret for those who are in Christ. And you and I can go there, too. It's free. It's available. And its strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow will never dry up.
Perhaps you are feeling parched today and desperately want the joy of the Lord. You know what you need to do. Spend time with the Father in his Word and in prayer. Lift your eyes, open up your heart and be drawn to springs of living water.
Intersecting Faith & Life:
How about seeking out some of these "shiny, happy people" for yourself this weekend? Learn from their testimonies and be refreshed by their witness. God wants to give you joy and be the strength in your life as well!