We visited a family a couple of hours drive from us recently. It's a beautiful drive through the hills.
The lack of greenery allows us to see every groove in the hillside which creates a beautiful view for the drive.
The small property was surrounded by a cactus fence and on the property stood 5 separate buildings of one room dwellings and a single bathroom.
Chickens greeted us. Dogs treaded underfoot, begging for food. Small bits of trash scattered everywhere.
We were greeted with a warm smile, sloppy handshake and a brief tour of the grounds before we were lead to the main room.
A medium size room held the large bed, refrigerator and storage area. We sat on the bed and on plastic chairs.
A tour of the grounds lead us to a few dogs tied up on such a short lease they could only turn a circle in the dirt and lay down. We came across roosters in small square homemade cages and turkeys that roamed the yard.
Piglets squealed behind a hedge of cactus. 5 baby piglets dirty but cute and one big mamma pig....all piled in a small dry pin. Homemade of course.
After a tour of their "farm", we were led to their outdoor kitchen and eating area. We were given the best they had...real Coke, a wobbly table with an old christmas table cloth, warped plates and the best homemade gorditas filled with home grown beans and fried potatoes. Topped with a delicious grilled pepper salsa.
We ate till we were full, laughed and talked.
They were happy. Perhaps used to their poverty level and what surrounded them.
Children, covered in dust, grinned ear to ear as they ran around with my kids playing hide n go seek.
Joy. Where does it come from?
Not in material items. Nice homes. Shiniest cars.
It's not found in having the perfect job nor the best looking spouse.
It's only found in Christ. Joy is not dependent on our current circumstances.
Paul, in Acts 16, was beaten and imprisoned with Silas. While in prison they sang out to God. Praising Him. Hearts fully relying on God's truth for their joy.
Not for Paul's glory, but for the glory of God to prevail.
This family's happy faces and beautiful hospitality reminded me of what true joy means. A lesson, I'm sure, God wanted me to take away.
To be content in the good and bad days of life. To be joyful, because God holds my hand.
It's not about me and my brokenness or struggles.
It's about God and His story of rescuing me.
My joy comes from the Lord!
My challenge to you, my friends, is to seek God's perspective on Joy this week. True joy only comes from standing on the truth of the Word of God.
I'd love to know how you are seeking true Joy this week! Please hit the reply button and let me know.