Capturing Joy in the Little Things
By Simply One In Marriage
“Good things come in small packages,” as the saying goes. And sometimes the smallest things can bring great joy!
Finding a little package, beautifully wrapped, under the tree with your name on it certainly brings with it a sense of excitement and anticipation: What wonderful thing is inside?
So often our blessings come like this–full of expectation…ready to be celebrated.
But not all gifts make a grand entrance into our life. And that leads me to wonder how many I’ve missed. How many blessings have I been given that I simply haven’t noticed, much less appreciated or celebrated?
I don’t need to replay here all the ways we can get distracted. We know them all too well. Yet in the midst of so much craziness that grabs our attention, there is a way to capture the joy. And our example comes from one new mother who had just experienced some unusual craziness of her own.
Mary certainly had much to be distracted by. Life had not at all gone as she had planned in the last nine months. And this particular night could not have been more different than how she must have imagined it. Who wants to give birth far away from family in a dirty old stable after traveling for days with a man she had only begun to know? She had to be frightened…in agony from labor…completely exhausted from the journey.
So much happened that night in a flurry of activity. But when at last she held her tiny baby in her arms, relief and joy must have washed over her.
And then the shepherds came.
She hadn’t heard or seen what the shepherds witnessed–an angel proclaiming the Messiah had been born that night and the glorious praise of the heavenly host. But when she heard what the shepherds had to say, “she treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). At that moment, Gabriel’s words to her must have come flooding back (Luke 1:26-38). And what joy must have filled her soul!
Don’t get me wrong. I realize all of this was in no way a “little thing.” This tiny baby was anything but small! He was the Savior of the world! But He was indeed a “good thing” in a little package. And nothing can compare with His gift of love and life! A gift of “great joy,” as the angel declared (Luke 2:10).
I think it is interesting that Mary did all the hard, agonizing work of delivering the Messiah into the world, and yet God chose the shepherds to see and hear the glorious announcement of His birth. She could have missed the wonder of it all if she had focused on her pain, the undesirable location, or that she didn’t get to experience the glory of the angels’ song. Instead, she listened intently to what the shepherds said and treasured all these things in her heart. She must have been filled with joy.
For joy comes when we treasure God’s blessings in our hearts.
And this is what we can learn from Mary.
I don’t want to miss a single blessing! Not this Christmas season. Not in each day. And not in my marriage.
I must learn to look beyond the distractions. I must look for the small packages of blessings that surround me each day. Not the ones wrapped up for all to see under the tree. But the kindness of a sweet word or gentle touch. The gracious patience of my husband when I get a little stressed. The sun beaming down with glorious light. Even the bright red of a cardinal against a background of gray.
Small blessings fill our days to overflowing with joy. Do we take time to notice them?
Oh, my friends, I pray that God would open the eyes of our hearts to see the blessings around us. Let’s not miss even one. May we treasure them up and capture the joy in the little things!
Grace and peace,