Such simple joy. I couldn’t help but think of the book I wrote and published last year called SIMPLE JOY: A Shabby Chick Christian’s Inspiration for a Joy-FULL Life! Few people have read the book – so far anyway. Maybe it was too simple a book in such a complicated world. Maybe the simple joy I have discovered in an inordinately simple life that is such a contrast with this increasingly complex world is not contagious. But how could I not be reminded of the simple joy I experience daily after decades of misery as I watch paralyzed dog Miss Molly absolutely ebullient over the pine cones she collects on her walks in her wheelchair with me and paralyzed Miss Mercy in her wheelchair?

Paralyzed dog Miss Molly with her pine cones!

Miss Molly actually becomes ecstatic and speeds up her walk in her wheelchair every time she finds a pine cone. Sometimes she drops one to pick up the next one. Other times, she tries to stuff two in her mouth. She acts like she’s won the doggie lottery. Such simple joy.

It wasn’t so very long ago I wouldn’t have seen her joy, so caught up I was in believing joy was something I would never attain. But then I came to understand the nature of simple joy. When my heart is full of the joy of the Lord, so not contingent on my life circumstances and situations, I find myself smiling at things like paralyzed dogs running down the street in a wheelchair with a pine cone-jammed mouth.

Why does joy have to be complicated? It doesn’t. Not at all. Not when I remember the greatest joy of all is in the Lord. And that simple joy can be discovered, and appreciated, in the simplest things. Like paralyzed dogs in wheelchairs enamored with pine cones.

How come on some days I find myself losing my temper, being ungrateful, messing up one thing after another, having to seek the Lord’s forgiveness a zillion times, judging what I shouldn’t judge, feeling down when I have every reason to feel up? Because when I take my eyes off the Lord, and my heart off of His Word, and when I stumble and fall instead of walk by faith, I forget, all too easily, the greatest joy of all. For paralyzed dog Miss Molly it’s stuffing pine cones in her mouth as she zooms along in her wheelchair down my little country road.

For me, the greatest joy of all – the Lord.

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 KJV

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