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Psalm 16:11. In your presence there is fullness of joy.
When I first held my children, I understood the “fullness of joy” in a new, deep, and abiding way. As they are growing up, I am learning what it means to be joyful, even in the difficult moments.
Sometimes the kids make really lousy decisions. They’re heading into puberty, with sharp tongues and independent spirits. And there are times when I’m so frustrated or angry or hurt, I want to explode. At my best, I’m able to sit down and talk, tell them I’m disappointed but that my love for them never wavers, that my joy in their very presence is constant and eternal.
This experience as a parent gives me just the tiniest glimpse into God’s love and joy for me—and for all of creation. God loves me. Even when I’m unkind or selfish. Even when I turn away from God. It’s a love that brings me to my knees, knowing I don’t deserve it. Knowing God keeps giving it anyway.
This passage challenges me to remember the fullness of joy at all times, not just during the mountaintop experiences. It’s not easy, but I’m pretty sure that’s what God is asking.