Tensional Joy

Joy in Obedience

The heavens declare the glory of God,

and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

Day to day pours out speech,

and night to night reveals knowledge.

There is no speech, nor are there words,

whose voice is not heard.

Their voice goes out through all the earth,

and their words to the end of the world.

In them he has set a tent for the sun,

which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,

and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.

Psalm 19:1-5

I never thought I would be at a playground at 6:30 in the morning after my cross country years. A morning person, I have never been.  But, there was a little girl, my middle child, who had been crying out for quality time all week. As a five-year old, her requests for quality time don’t express themselves in the most obvious ways. We had experienced a week of yelling, tears, and lashing out, and honestly, she was the last person with whom I wanted to spend some intentional time.

Fortunately, there was a wisdom greater than mine whispering to me that Lydia needed to be pulled in closer, not kept at a distance. So, in the ninth month of my forth pregnancy, I dragged myself out of bed to hustle her out of the house for a picnic breakfast in the park behind her school. I didn’t know what to expect, but the further we drove away from the house, the more she opened up to me about all the things on her heart. When we arrived at the playground, she chose to sit close to me with her donut and listen to Morning Prayer while the sun rose over the rooftops. And then, she requested to sing hymns while I pushed her on the swings (her favorite right now is I Sing a Song of the Saints of God). To end our time together, she asked if we could hold hands and walk to school instead of going through the carline, which is not easy with a backpack clad, skipping little girl and an off-kilter mommy.

As I walked back to our van in silence after dropping her off, I reflected on all of the blessings of that morning. Most significantly, I was surprised by how a small act of obedience resulted in the joy of reconnection and reconciliation between my daughter and I. The tension of the past week melted away as the rising sun illuminated her curls while she skipped to the swing set. My heart ached at the pleasure of hearing her sweet voice lift up praises to God and ask if she too, could be counted as one of God’s saints.Sometimes, joy is expected, like the joy that comes from watching the groom see his bride for the first time on his wedding day.  Other times, joy comes as the result of obedience and perseverance. Living life with others, even with our loved ones, is not easy, but Paul tells us in Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” On that day, I was allowed an early harvest of joy, the abundance of which is still feeding my soul. 

Joy to you! Mikah Alge

Mikah Alge attends Grace Anglican in Katy with her husband and four children.

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