You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! Psalm 32:11
His Lord said to Him, “Well done, good and faithful servant…Enter into the joy of your Lord.” Matthew 25:23
Tonight while working out, I was reminded of how God can use the oddest things to help us grow in Him. There was a long period in my life when I lost sight of these verses and others like them. I was more inclined to work at living soberly, earnestly, righteously. This was my focus. What new thing was I doing wrong and how could I live a more righteous life? What else did I need to cleanse from my life, my home, my heart? Which type of music should I now forgo? How many more yards of cloth did I need to add to my attire? How much was left of me and how could I get rid of that? Where else did I fail God, my husband, my children, my friends? I was to be serious minded in all things and at all times. I was to concentrate on following this rule and that regulation.
During this long, miserable, dry period, I was actually engaging in one of the few guilty pleasures I allowed myself. I was watching a favorite TV show. One of the characters said, “My shoes are too tight…but it doesn’t matter for I’ve forgotten how to dance.” At that moment, I remembered how much I used to enjoy the physical act of dancing. How I used to dance almost every day. I would even wear headphones and dance around the house as I did my work, cooking and cleaning. I loved to move to the music and always felt so joyful and free while I danced. It hit me. Not only had I given up the physical act of dancing, I had given up the joy of life, the humor in every day, the sense that life was to be enjoyed. I, who had always loved to dance, who had always been able to find the joy in life, who had always been able to keep things in their proper perspectives was walking around in shoes that were much too tight… but it didn’t matter for I had forgotten how to dance.
Laughing is an expression of joy that comes from the heart of God Himself. Humor is encouraging and edifying. Col. 3:23 says “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” Laughter comes under the category of “whatever.” As Proverbs 17:22a says, “A merry heart does good, like medicine.” Humor demonstrates the joy, the passion, the great adventure of the Christian life. Laughter and music are two of God’s greatest gifts. They give us the ability to express our innermost feelings, desires, dreams, even life itself. I’ve found the best source of humor is looking back at me in the mirror. The ability to laugh at myself and not take myself too seriously is an indication to me that I’m growing in maturity and healthy self-esteem and learning to set my priorities straight.
It’s difficult at times to walk out of bondage and dryness – difficult to remember how to dance. But each day God is showing me more and more, step by step how to dance again. How to move as He leads. How to hear His music and feel His beat. I’m learning that the beat I hear is slightly different than what others may hear and that’s okay too. I’m learning that it doesn’t matter if I’m the only one in the room dancing. God is there with me. I’m taking off my too tight shoes and exchanging them for shoes that fit me. I’m remembering how to dance and to do it joyfully.