Last weekend, Joy and Percy spent the night with us. I was tired. I had returned home from Florida and lost two hours to travel. It was the Saturday to lose an hour of sleep. I babysat the two grand kids on Saturday. But when Joy called and asked if she and Percy could spend the night, well, it didn’t matter how tired I was. These two were going to stay at Baba’s.
(I haven’t explained the “Baba” thing. When Bethany was pregnant with Joy, Bethany wanted each of Joy's grandparents to have a special name. One that would clearly say, “This is my grandma or grandpa.” My husband’s family is from Russia, and he called his grandparents Baba and Gido, so these are the “Americanized” names we chose for our grandchildren.)
On the trip to take the grand kids home last weekend, Joy spoke up from her car seat. “Baba, do you have any Christmas music? Mommy can’t find ours.” My heart melted. She wanted to listen to Christmas music. In March! A girl after my own heart. “Of course!” I said. “I always have Christmas music in my car.”
I scrolled through the CD’s that I had and decided the most “fun” CD was Michael Bublé’s newest Christmas album. And, by the way, if you’re looking for some new Christmas music, I highly recommend this one. It is so much fun...and his voice is divine.
As we listened to Michael croon to “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Jingle Bells” and “Holly Jolly Christmas,” Joy was singing right along with him. But then, he sang her favorite song, “Feliz Navidad.” Oh how she enjoyed that one.
When I got back into the car after dropping off the kids, I restarted the CD and listened to it all the way home. There’s just something about Christmas music that brings joy to my soul. Rest to my weary body. Peace to my restless way of life.
For me, however, Christmas music isn’t the only way I am restored. More importantly, it isn’t my first “go to” to be restored. I know when I need restoration; I go to my heavenly Father. It is only in His arms that find real joy, real rest, and real peace.
Nehemiah gives such encouragement in chapter 8, verse 10. He says, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” When nothing else will do, God’s joy will give us the strength we need.
The book of Psalm says a lot about joy, but these two verses tell us of the joy God gives. “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.”(Psalm 126:3) “Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.” (Psalm 119:111)
The New Testament is also filled with verses on joy. These are just a couple. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13) “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:8-9)
Jesus states in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Another of God's glorious gifts he has given. His peace!
He also says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) It is only by being in Christ will we find true peace.
Paul tells us that Jesus is our peace in Ephesians 2:11. Through this “peace,” all barriers can be broken down. There is unity. Hostility is banished. Now that is real peace.
“Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure.” (Psalm 16:9) There is security in rest, but only when God is the center of that rest.
Psalm 62:5 also tells us that rest is accompanied by hope. “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.”
“A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest.” (Proverbs 16:10) I love this little verse…should almost be a nursery rhyme.
And of course, Jesus’ words to us when we just can’t seem to take one more step. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
These are just a few of the ways God brings restoration to our lives and souls. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can put these words into action. Then we will know that our joy, peace and rest come from God.
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,