Back To School Prayer Challenge, Day 7: A Student of Joy
“For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord;
I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
How great are your works, Lord, how profound your thoughts!”
“Joy is the feeling of grinning inside.”
Well, we made it! The last day of our prayer challenge. My kids start back to school tomorrow morning! I wanted to end with praying for joy because this school year should start with smiles and excitement…not sadness and fear. Joy really is an umbrella for so many things – thankfulness, gratefulness, love, etc. So when I was thinking about the joy that I want my kids to have this year, more than anything, I wanted them to embrace the joy of being ABLE to go to school – they are healthy, intelligent, independent, and school is a safe place for them to learn and grow. That’s not the case in other areas of the world.
To stop and consider the thought of my children having to walk hours to get to school and back, or needing them to work instead of going to school because it’s the difference between eating and starving. Many children risk their very life to go to school – girls in countries where education is only for the boys. Heart breaking. And I complain about having to make their lunch each morning?! I am so blessed to GET to make their lunch and take them to school without any concern! So I want my kids to be full of joy over the freedom they enjoy. And, as so many other things we’ve prayed about this week, that joy starts with us. If we face each day with joy, it’s going to spread to our kids. So let’s be purposeful with our joy! And let’s help our children be purposeful about it as well – when they get home from school, ask them to tell you about something great that happened, or something that made them smile. Encourage them to look for those little things each day, and to do things for others that will bring them joy!
Obviously, joy is something that comes more easily for certain kids, and can be a lot more work in others. I have a friend whose daughter exudes joy 24/7. She’s literally just happy all the time…well, not ALWAYS, but MOST of the time. For her, joy is just a part of who she is. A child like that can help us see the joy in every circumstance. Other kids are naturally more cynical, and finding joy is going to take a little more effort, but it’s worth it! So let’s pray today that our kids – naturally joy-filled or not – will find plenty to be joyful about this year. And let’s pray that we’ll remember to be a joyful example to them.
May God bless you and each of your children as they begin this new school year! It’s my prayer for each of you that it is the BEST year yet!