Today’s project at hand: we get to cram the box! Okay, let me explain the process involved in this joyous celebration of sweetness. I always look forward to date days with my grandchildren. We don’t make elaborate itineraries, a simple play day at a park, a lunch at McDonald’s, or a visit to the local zoo, with the ultimate goal being time spent together. One recent outing included a trip to a small candy store in the nearby town of Beaver, Pennsylvania. Oh, boy, everyone loves a trip to Grandpa Joe’s, especially grandmas armed with grandchildren. What a sugar rush! My favorite section of the store is located at the rear of the building, what I fondly refer to as the candy smorgasbord. Customers are provided a modest-sized box, and for $5.00 you can fill that box with any combination of candy available on the elaborate sweets-and-treats bar. Rows of bins are provided for your enjoyment and indulgence, licorice, hard candy, chocolate, wrapped candies, and gummy-shaped everything. Take your pick! Our plan was methodical, large candy at the bottom of the box, gummies squished into every available space between. We stuffed the box to the point of overflow, in fact, we may have jumped up and down on it a few times; we crammed the box.
Let’s dwell on the word cram for a moment. The English definition is to fill completely, to force into a place or container, to stuff or pack tightly. Now what makes this so moving is that Christ Himself used this term in regards to us. While praying with (and for) His disciples before facing the agony of the cross, Jesus asked the Father “that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” His use of the word fulfilled bears the sense of cramming something to excess. Jesus desired that those men, and all believers throughout the ages (aka-us), would have His joy packed into their vessels, that they would be saturated to the point of overflow with the joy of the Lord, and that this abounding joy would be their strength, their shining testimony in a dark and dying world. John later mirrors the words of His Savior as the aged apostle encourages his spiritual children, desiring that their “joy may be full.” The same word is used here, to the point of overflowing, crammed, in excess.
That deep, abiding, inner rejoicing in the Lord, or joy, is listed as part of the fruit of the Spirit of God. As His Holy Spirit abides in us, God transmits some of His godly and diving qualities into our weak, human vessels, and joy is one of those qualities. As God releases His joy into our system, we are recharged and revived even in the midst of the darkest of trials, the roughest of paths. That divine infusion of joy reminds us that regardless of circumstances, Jesus is our stability, our unchanging Rock upon which we stand, our Blessed Hope, our eternity. How can we be droopy and grumpy when we understand that the Prince of creation, “for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross” for us? He loved us enough to die for us! With His unfathomable love in mind, let’s cram the box full of His joy today, regardless of our situation.
Nehemiah 8:10 The joy of the LORD is my strength.
Jesus, thank You that even when I am not happy, I can be filled with joy. My emotions cannot change the fact that my salvation and my future are secure in You. JOY!<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1234-650c10e331ae8' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1234&origin=_bimi.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1234-650c10e331ae8' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1234-650c10e331ae8' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>