Contagious Joy

by Aug 27, 2021Article, Prayer Newsletter

Contagious Joy

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16:11

“Stay out of trouble,” my college roommate’s husband said, sending us off on our annual beach day. He knows well that although we are in our early sixties, when Mimi and I get together we revert to our early twenties. Anything can happen.

After Mimi read our morning devotion about “A cheerful heart [being] good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22), we drove off, singing along with Shine FM. At the beach, we dropped our bags on the sand and pranced to the water’s edge.

“Let’s dive right in,” I said, grinning and pointing excitedly at the white caps.

We plunged into God’s amazing ocean, challenging each other to list Bible stories with water in them. I pretended to “lap from cupped hands” like Gideon’s army (Judges 7:6). And I walked on water like Peter—more accurately the part when he started to sink (Matthew 14:29-30).

“Baptisms!” Mimi exclaimed, approaching me. “Watch out! I dunk three times.”

A man popped in for a quick dip, looked at us, shook his head, and grinned.

All day we frolicked in the surf, squealing as the waves swelled and crested, laughing when we washed up to shore. Full of energy and joy, we jumped, bobbed, flailed, and shrieked.

When we paused briefly to eat our sandwiches on the sand, a lady approached us. “I keep telling my sons, if it weren’t for this bum knee I would be out there carrying on with you two.” She laughed heartily.

After we ate and worked our way back to the water, people waved to us, smiling like they knew us. “Are you two going back in?” a gal on the shoreline asked, chuckling.

“Of course!”

“Let’s get on the other side of the break line and ride the waves,” Mimi said, her hand beckoning.

“Here I come,” I said, but the waves crashed early or late—slamming us, grabbing us, and swirling us under the water.

“Mimi-Mimi-Mimi-Mimi,” I screamed. “Never turn your back on the ocean!”

Walloped, we were towed under, coming up only to get smacked down again. Only this time Mimi didn’t resurface. I scanned the water, trying to remain calm. Where is she? Reaching behind me for balance and a boost to stand, my hand struck something rubber. I needed to get up and search, but each time my hand smacked the rubber, not the sand.

“Quit hitting me!” Mimi yelled.

In turns, relieved and embarrassed, we roared with laughter.

Lord, thank you for allowing us to delight in the simple things. Help us to spread Your contagious joy to those around us today.

A bystander laughed with us and asked if we would pose for a picture because she had so much fun watching us all day.

We splashed around some more before heading home. In line at the restroom and again at the car, people recognized us and, laughing, thanked us for entertaining them.

Without even realizing it, Mimi and I had spread the Lord’s “good medicine” all day. By enjoying our time with cheerful hearts, we were able to offer reprieve to those around us, touching their hearts and blessing them with His contagious joy.

 

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