Lover of God, wife, mother, British missionary in Peru... click here to learn more about Anna and this blog and how it can serve you.

The Joy of Washing up?

The Joy of Washing up?

The Joy of Washing Up?

One of the things I am realizing by studying joy is that perhaps the practical ways of putting on joy are ‘obvious’ but how much I fail to actually do them! These studies are not so much about trying to reveal to myself ways to be joyful, but rather opportunities to practice what I should already know! 

I have to say, however, that I was very surprised at the number of different things the Bible says that bring us joy and how much I take them for granted and refuse to recognise and embrace and intentionally place these things in my life! 


Joy is, in many circumstances, a choice. We have to intentionally embrace it and put it on in the morning.  We have to train our minds to pray and be thankful rather than embrace anxiety and complaint.  We have to choose to embrace activities that will bring us joy rather than ones that will only numb our minds.  And we need to remind ourselves to be grateful and joyful for the things we do have.  


In Deuteronomy 28, God lists options to the Israelites: blessings or curses.  In verse 47, a curse is given to the Israelites who refuse to serve God joyfully and gladly when their needs and wants are met. God tells them that what they have will be taken from them and they will serve their enemies instead: 

Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the Lord sends against you.
— Deuteronomy 28:47-48

This curse sounds pretty harsh, but from a parental point of view, if my children are ungrateful and taking everything they have for granted, then sometimes I want to expose them to situations where they don’t have so that they can appreciate what they have when it is reinstated later.  In my own life, when their has been lack and then later abundance, I am so much more appreciative of the blessings God has given. And this week, I don’t know how many times this week I have said to my children - “If you want to moan and complain then go upstairs and moan in your bedroom - I don’t want to hear it!” I wonder how much God was thinking in a similar way when he told the Israelites they would go and serve their enemies.  Maybe then they would realise how loving and giving God really is!


Some days I find it difficult to do things without grumbling in my spirit.  When we first moved into this house I used to find the constant washing up and things just left by others something that would make me grumble.  That is, until I felt convicted by this verse: 

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, …(and)… you will shine among them like stars in the sky
— Philippians 2:14-15

So I wrote this verse out and stuck it by the sink in our kitchen.  Every time I was tempted to feel sorry for myself for doing another load of washing up that was or wasn’t ours, I would instead thank God for the opportunity to serve Him.  


And would you believe it, that now I enjoy the washing up! It brings me joy to serve others and do the washing up! (I know, a miracle!) Now I just have to work on bring grateful and not mind-grumbling in other situations…! 

Bring joy to your servant, Lord,

for I put my trust in you.
— Psalm 86:4

Let's put on joy together: 

What regular daily activities cause you to grumble? 

What are you grateful about that activity? (Think hard!) 

Is there somewhere visible you can display Philippians 2:14-15?

Enjoy washing up today! This is Day 7 of a 21 Day challenge to put on joy in practical ways.  You can receive these posts by email by clicking to sign up here.

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