This photo from our most recent family vacation makes me smile every time I look at it. My two youngest kids are now adults. They, like their older siblings, are learning that adult life can be filled with busy schedules, expectations, responsibilities, struggles and downright hard times. But I not only see joy when I look at this photo, I feel it radiating from them. It’s a childlike joy that I used to see on their faces when we went to a park or their favorite restaurant or played together outside.
My hope as their dad and friend is that they learn to carry this joy with them into their adult lives.
When I think about true joy, I know it’s not the same as happiness. Rather, to borrow from Dallas Willard, joy is the pervasive and constant sense of well-being. It’s the confidence in God’s goodness and care toward us. It’s the living experience that God is our Shepherd and because of his goodness, we lack absolutely nothing. And more than anything, I pray my kids will know this joy.
Image created with a Sony a7r3, Lightroom & Photoshop.