By Miriam Rossow
This summer I spent a lot of time enjoying God’s creation. I spent time at my neighborhood pool just enjoying the sun. I spent time riding bikes around the neighborhood with my son. As the wind blew through my hair and I breathed in the fresh, warm, summer air I was refreshed. I spent time pulling kids behind a boat on Lake Chemung and watching them laugh and scream as they bounced over waves.
As a family we traveled to Lake Michigan and Sleeping Bear Dunes and marveled at the beauty and size of both of those. I was also treated to swimming in the clearest lake I have ever seen, Torch Lake. I was in about 20 feet of water and could see clearly to the bottom. I felt as though I was in the Caribbean. It was truly remarkable.
I spent time with my husband in Colorado enjoying the mountains. We even got a taste of glamping. We slept in a tent with a queen bed and enjoyed waking up to the amazing views of the Rocky Mountains. I watched horses run with complete abandonment in a rainstorm and enjoy the freedom of the open field while it rained. They reminded me of children playing in the rain and jumping in puddles. And I watched them graze in the field with the morning sun shining down on them.
Laughter and playing such as this is not how I would describe my life or faith walk lately. It has been a hard. I have had hard in my life personally and I have walked through unimaginable pain and grief, loss and brokenness, hurt and sadness with numerous people in my life. Life has just been difficult and unclear, rather than easy and enjoyable.
I was talking with someone this summer and realized that most of my encounters with Jesus are ones of a serious nature. I come to Him with my hurts, worries, struggles, complaints, and requests. And that is all. In fact I don’t just come to Him that way it is the way I characterize Him.
For me in the past years Jesus is serious. He is someone who will listen and help you through your struggles. He is someone who will cry with you and comfort you. He is in control and walks alongside us in the difficult times of life. And these are all good things and true traits of Jesus.
However that is where I get stuck with Jesus. I don’t think of Him hanging out with the disciples laughing. He teaches them and has serious, hard, life changing conversations with them. What does Jesus look like to you? Is He smiling or does He have a comforting face that is a bit serious? For me when I encountered Jesus in the last years He is comforting and serious. I have not encountered Him laughing or having fun.
I don’t think this is to say that I never thought of Him that way or even experienced Him in a fun manner, however He is just a more serious person and there to handle my serious issues and therefore, not really fun. Wow, that sounds harsh and not very inviting. Does that sound like how you have or do experience Jesus?
He is just a more serious person and there to handle my serious issues and therefore, not really fun.
What I realized this summer is that Jesus is fun. He laughs and dances. He rejoices with us and over us and in us. He is in love with us in a way that requires unabandoned even reckless joy and love! He delights in us.
This summer at Simply Jesus I had an experience of true joy and delight as I worshiped Jesus along with the other speakers the day before the main event started. We were not doing anything special. We were not dressed up or even in a church. We were sitting around in a living room sharing time with each other and getting to know each other a little better. We were singing songs with a guitar led by one person sitting in his chair. There was nothing special happening and we didn’t say any special prayer. And yet I experienced Jesus dancing with each person in the circle! Let that sink in for a moment. That’s right I saw Jesus dancing!
Let that sink in for a moment. That’s right I saw Jesus dancing!
As I sat with my eyes closed singing with this group of leaders Jesus showed Himself to me as someone who rejoices over me. Who dances with me. Who delights in me as His creation. This dancing that I saw Jesus do with the people in the circle was not choreographed. He simply took the hands of the person and twirled around. It was like a couple of 5 year old girls might do, heads leaning back and smiles upon their faces. It was a gift as tears streamed down my face.
What Jesus showed me in that moment is that He is fun. He delights in laughter and happiness and dancing. His hope and plan for us is not for us to stay in the hard and be serious all the time trying to solve the problems of the world or even just our life, rather to enjoy the life He has given us and let Him handle the problems. This does not mean He promises life will be a party with no hurt, at least not until He comes again!
What Jesus showed me in that moment is that He is fun. He delights in laughter and happiness and dancing.
He did not promise me that all of my hard would go away that night when He danced. He did not tell me He didn’t want to deal with or hear about my hurts, worries, struggles, complaints, and requests. Rather Jesus reminded me that in Him my joy may be complete. He reminded me that as I share the hard parts of my life with Him He also wants me to rejoice and know that He rejoices with me and over me.
Jesus is the comforter. He is in control and teaches us and changes our lives. He challenges us and guides us and pulls us closer to Him. Jesus wants us to hear Him say, ‘I am beautiful.’ He says, ‘I enjoy just being in your company.’ Jesus says, ‘I delight in you and I made this creation for you! Enjoy.’
Jesus says, ‘I delight in you and I made this creation for you! Enjoy.’
My walk with Jesus is not meant to be a burden but a delight.