Tired joy

The kids pulled out of the driveway, headed for home after a great Memorial Day weekend. Our oldest son, Ryan, and his family were with us at the lake for the holiday. There was hiking, swimming, water-gun fights, chasing butterflies, gathering wildflowers, playing at the playground, and even a few fireworks to end the day.

We ate BBQ, hotdogs, pancakes, and watermelon and made ice-cream sundaes. The kids drove the golf cart, or at least thought they were driving it, all weekend. And, I killed a snake—but that’s a whole different blog post.

Now, our little house is decorated with sticky handprints that I’m happy to look at for a couple of days. The dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer are hard at work while I type this blog post to you all.

My favorite kind of joy

I took some time to read my youngest son’s First15 devotion before I began to type. His words gave me the thoughts I wanted to share with you all today.

In Monday’s devotional, he wrote: “You and I were not created solely for this world. Our home is with our heavenly Father in heaven. Unceasing joy comes from living with the perspective of God rather than the world. Rejoicing comes from trusting that our God is perfectly loving, perfectly real, and perfectly powerful.”   

Note to my readers: If you don’t read Craig’s First15 devotionals, you should. He is my son. He does work for our ministry. I am unabashedly proud of both my boys and impossibly biased, so don’t take my word for it; you will find plenty of others who share my opinion. It is GOOD reading and an excellent way to start your day!  

I read Craig’s devotion about the unceasing, unshakeable joy that God’s presence provides and I knew what I wanted to write about: tired joy. Tired joy is how I define the weary contentment I feel after finishing a wonderful and busy time doing something I love. It is my favorite kind of tired.  

My favorite kind of joy is the tired joy I feel when I spend time with busy, happy, hungry kids and grandkids and then enjoy the quiet calm of time alone after they are gone. Tired joy is a great joy.

It’s the tired we feel after:

  • A busy holiday weekend with family and friends you love.
  • A mission trip or time of service with people the Lord has called you to love.
  • Completing a project or job that has taken a lot of hours to accomplish.

I’m sure you can think of other examples of tired joy—we all have them.

When Jesus was weary

Matthew 14 describes Jesus sitting in a quiet place on the mountain when his disciples came looking for him. Jesus had just performed many miracles, including the feeding of the five thousand, even though he was grieving the death of his cousin, John the Baptist.

Jesus was weary in body and soul and needed to retreat and pray. The crowds were increasing and so were their expectations. John 6:15 says, “Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.” When the disciples found him, Jesus sent them ahead and, later, in the middle of the night, walked on water to join them.

I think Jesus understood tired joy.

He was fulfilling the call that he had chosen for his life. He was succeeding, and people were beginning to understand he was their Messiah. But, Jesus was fully human as well as fully God. He chose to understand all the feelings that you and I feel. Jesus chose to feel tired joy. It is a choice for us as well.

Where unceasing joy begins

I hope you had a special Memorial Day weekend. I hope your week is filled with moments you will enjoy. But, for all of us, it is good to plan for the tired joy that comes as a result of spending time enjoying and serving people we love and people we are called to love.

Craig also wrote, “Unceasing joy comes from living with the perspective of God rather than the world.” I love that thought, and I love the one who wrote it. I smile at the many hours of my life that he and his brother provided me with tired joy at the end of a day. I share God’s perspective: we adore our kids.

Tired joy is one of my favorite joys in this life. We have so many ways to serve God and others. Rest is simply for the time in between.  I wish you a busy, productive, and blessed week. I wish you tired joy.