Sharing Joy in January

Sharing Joy in January

She plodded down the hall of the rehab hospital with the help of a walker, head bent downward, each step an effort. When she passed me, she looked up with a radiant smile and answered my greeting with a cheery “Good morning! How are you?”

As my family would predict, I couldn’t leave it at that and go my merry way. You see, my “hobby” is meeting new people. Each person has a story, and I love to hear those tidbits tucked away in the memory banks of strangers. When spontaneous visits include a conversation about God, they are even more precious.  

I said to the lady I met, “You seem joyful this morning even though you’re using a walker. I think God wants us to be filled with joy, don’t you?”

Her smile widened. I believed her when she responded, “You are right! I wake up with joy every morning.”

I asked, “Do you know Jesus?” (I suspected she did.)

She nodded and answered, “Oh, yes, I’ve known Him for a long time. My name is Kwajalein.”

We had a brief conversation about the Lord as Kwajalein became my new “joybit” friend. (That’s my name for dear folks I meet in places like waiting rooms, elevators, and shopping lines. We may never see each other again, but we share a bit of joy and friendship for a short time.)

My sweet, new friend went her way and I went mine, but we parted with smiles and joyful hearts because of our shared relationship with Jesus.

Kwajalein and I may never meet again as both of us were outpatients. However, God used us to fill each other’s joy tanks that day.

I left with a smile as big as my new friend’s because Kwajalein’s trust in the Lord eased anxiety about my back pain and reminded me to rejoice as I trusted Him.

An oft-quoted verse reads:

This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24 ESV

We don’t always feel like rejoicing and “being glad,” but with the joy of the Lord in our hearts, we can choose to do so, just as Kwajalein did even though she needed assistance to walk.

Despite our circumstances, we have the capacity to rejoice. Once we accept Christ as Savior, the fruit we bear by the Holy Spirit’s work in our hearts includes joy (Galatians 5:22) and brings honor to God.

We sometimes pass people who wear frowns or whose surface smile seems to mask sadness or anger. Maybe those folks have heavy burdens or simply don’t feel well. Maybe they need a relationship with Jesus, or perhaps they are believers who need a kind word.  

Does someone in your path today need a “joybit” friend—someone to smile, engage them in conversation, and share the encouragement Christ offers?

For the rest of January’s thirty-one days, let’s agree to “rejoice and be glad”  as we obey God’s nudges to encourage others.

 (Of course, we proceed with safety and respect in mind. As my husband reminds me, not everyone is open to making “joybit” friends. But plenty of folks are.)

Please share in the Comments a time someone shared joy with you or an instance when you lightened someone’s heart. The joy of the Lord is worth sharing.

Now, please don’t miss the treasure below that relates to today’s topic.

The Joy Box Journal by Adria Wilkins

The Joy Box Journal by Adria Wilkins is one of my favorite books! It’s a collection of short devotions that illustrate finding joy in each day. Space for journaling is included.

Adria Wilkins, the author, endured the death of her three-year-old son, yet she spreads joy more than anyone I know.

LOOK at the special features below which are included: joy notes and easy-to-assemble box for storing them

I promise you’ll love it!

No commission involved.

Please feel free to share this post!

21 thoughts on “Sharing Joy in January

  1. “Joybit” friends. What a wonderful term to coin for those “God moments” when we allow His love to be exchanged with those around us. Like you, I love it when “joybits” happen. I can’t tell you that I seek them, but I do try to make myself open to their invitation everywhere I go. These days, it seems folks are always in a hurry, preoccupied, defensive, or self-absorbed to notice the person across the waiting room, walking to their car, or in the checkout line at the market. One I recall was a late evening visit to the local Wal-Mart. I was checking out with a few needed items, but I noticed the young couple behind me with a baby. They were, I supposed, of modest means, but I noticed the daddy was putting some cans of formula to the side as it seemed he was calculating the cost of things. The worried mother’s eyes seemed to be saying “but we need that.” I leaned over to the cashier and asked her to ring all of their baby-need purchases (all the formula, the diapers, the bottles, etc.) up along with my items. She agreed and just kept checking. The young couple realized what was happening, and I just smiled and said “I’m paying God back for one of his blessings.” The young dad offered to load my groceries (I was still in a sling from surgery), but I just wished them a great evening and left. An old guy’s “joybit” moment. No fancy, but it sure warmed my heart. God’s blessings ma’am;; and thank you for the new term.

  2. Thank you, J.D. for this beautiful example. You’re right in saying everyone we pass is not open to conversation. We need to be led by God always. I’m still smiling about your Walmart “joybit” opportunity.

  3. This is an outstanding article and one I could use today. Thank you for sharing this “joybits.” We all need this reminder today. Thank you for giving me a bit of joy today. Hugs.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Hugs back to you, Adria. I enjoyed sharing your book in this post. You and your book add so much of the Lord’s joy to this world.

  4. “Joybit”–love that you attached a word to action. Yes, we may give a bit of joy but it comes back to us in larger bits too. I’m studying “How Happiness Happens” by Max Lucado and your blog could be a chapter in the book. Just by greeting someone-we know or don’t know-our smile and giving attention shows they matter and we spread joy. Thanks for sharing your experience and helping us see we can reach out to others in “bits”.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Marilyn, what a compliment! I’m thankful you found value in the post. I love your statement “we may give a bit of joy but it comes back to us in larger bits too.” True!

  5. Thank you, Jeannie, for a new term and a new reminder to be on the lookout for opportunities to spread joy 🙂

  6. Your messages always lift me up and and this one certainly reminds me to grasp all those “joybit ” opportunities. You are such an inspiration.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Pam, you inspire me! Thank you for faithfully reading and commenting. “Joybit” opportunities are fun, aren’t they!

  7. Thank you Jeannie for this wonderful story — an encouragement to seize every opportunity to share joy!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Dorcas, thank you for reading and commenting. I like your phrase “seizing every opportunity to share joy!”

  8. I love the term joybit. What a great reminder that even a small interaction can brighten someone’s day!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Thank you, Tyler. I like it, too. You’re right that pausing a few minutes to acknowledge someone can brighten their day.

  9. What a wonderful gift you have, Jeannie! I can picture you sharing joy with those you meet casually. Except for you, it isn’t casual–it’s a God given opportunity to bring joy to someone. My introvert self struggles to get past a smile and greeting to strangers. I’m hoping thinking of you will inspire me to spread joy more intentionally. Thanks for the inspiration.

  10. What sweet thoughts, Katherine. Thanks so much. I’m sure your love of the Lord shines through when you meet others.

  11. I love this concept of thinking of people as “joybit” friends. It’s a wonderful perspective to think of people as holding treasures inside.

  12. Jeannie, I have people in my life that definitely bring me joy. I hope I can be that for others. I even call my new puppy my joy boy. Because he wags his tail at everything. It’s so wonderful to share joy with others.

  13. Thanks for sharing joy in your comments, Debbie. It is indeed wonderful to share God’s joy with others.

  14. “We sometimes pass people who wear frowns or whose surface smile seems to mask sadness or anger. Maybe those folks have heavy burdens or simply don’t feel well. Maybe they need a relationship with Jesus, or perhaps they are believers who need a kind word. ”

    This is so important. I try to be aware of who needs kindness. When I’m out in public, I’ll often rely on the Holy Spirit to show me who needs encouragement. I try to remember that every person I encounter might be at the end of their rope, that a simple word of hope can change everything for someone who feels alone or hurting. I don’t always succeed, but may we all be more aware of the opportunities God is offering us.

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