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In the Face of Joy

You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.  Psalm 16:11 NASB

(Photo courtesy of office.microsoft.com.)I spent some time in El Salvador at an orphanage. The cement block housing surrounded by high fences topped in barbed wire looks more like an institutional compound than a home. A pastor and his wife parent this family of thirty-four children of various ages, including three boys in wheel chairs with MS. 

One of the boys, Jose, is tutored at the orphanage because school is too dangerous. With his feet, he quietly scoots his wheelchair about the room but cannot leave without being lifted by one of the older boys. The girls see to his physical needs. His hands, crippled by disease, cannot grasp. He works diligently to simply lift a playing card. It all seems so bleak, but this young man has more joy in the Lord than anyone I have ever met. 

Joy is often misunderstood. It is not the delight we feel when things are going the way we want. Joy is the blessing God gives us every day through trials or happy days. Joy is knowing our heavenly Father never deserts us. It is contentment for our souls. Joy is Jose’s face lit with a heavenly glow. His sweet voice raised in holy praise. His soft hand clasped in mine. In the midst of his daily struggle, God has given Jose a purpose to bring joy to those around him. God blessed me by allowing me to meet this young man. 

When you are in the middle of the mess of life, remember you can chose to live life in the presence of God’s joy. Look around you. See the simple gifts God gives every day. Know He has a plan. As a Christ follower, live in the very presence of God. Rejoice in it. 

(Photo courtesy of office.microsoft.com.)

(For more devotions, visit www.christiandevotions.us.)

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Niki A. Barlow

Niki A. Barlow is blessed to live in Estes Park, Colorado with her pastor husband, Richard. Together, they have raised four children. She is honored to walk alongside Richard in ministry, including local outreach, global missions, and prayer ministry. Niki is currently editing her first novel, Burning Quest.


  1. Niki, I am so blessed that you sent this to me. Thank you for the privilege of hearing your heart in your writing. Your story of Jose is a living example of what joy in Christ is all about.

  2. Quality thoughts. Thank you for sharing your journey. Ellen R.

  3. Niki, great thoughts laced with a tender heart. Thank you.

  4. Thanks Niki-a very good thought shared. I appreciate your heart. God bless, Sue S.

  5. Thanks for your post! It reminded me of a lesson the Lord taught me, using Joy as an acronym; it is a Journey Of Yielding. So long as we stay connected to Him, we stay in a place of peace. You are so right, we can choose to live life in the presence of God's joy daily. I will rejoice with you!

  6. You've cut past the surface fluff to the essence and true origin of joy. The world is baffled at its presence in the midst of oppressive circumstances, and only the believer understands how it comes to be there. Well said!