“Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed (to Mary): ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child (Jesus) you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby (John the Baptist) in my womb leaped for joy!’” Luke 1:41-44
Lord Jesus, this is one of the great joy-stories of all time. Both of you were still in your mother’s wombs, but John the Baptist leapt for joy just because he was in close proximity to you. This is truly amazing, but totally consistent with who you have been throughout eternity.
In your presence, the fullness of joy overflows (Psalm 16:11)—the same joy you are praying we will experience in full measure (John 17:13). The joy you give us doesn’t eliminate all sorrow before your return. But it transforms our sadness from self-pity and comparison-ism, unto other-centered empathy and compassion.
Our tears become the corrective-lenses through which we see the wonders of your love with 20-20 vision. We actually begin to believe we were the joy “set before you,” as you humbly and gladly went to the cross for us (Heb. 12:2). This knowledge changes everything.
Jesus, to have our hearts fuller with your joy, peace, and hope… we don’t need a different story or family of origin, less suffering or more money, a change of vocation, location, or a long vacation. We need you. Restore, refresh, enliven, and deepen our intimacy with you. So Very Amen, we pray.