I sit pondering joy this morning, and what comes to mind is “wholeness.” Wholeness from the Joy lays before us. I asked God, “What do you want to teach me about joy and wholeness?”

Please stay with me as I continue. I hope that you are inspired, that your mind would be refreshed and your capacity to imagine would be increased. Living creatively requires faith. Each of our faith steps is the action necessary to cultivate wholeness. We choose to be led by Joy, anticipating the adventure of being made whole.  

Let’s continue, prompted, I looked up these two words in the dictionary, and joy welled up in me as I saw the reflection of each in the other as I paused to meditate on their meaning once again, asking God to show me more.

I found “joy” defined as a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. And “wholeness” the state of being unbroken or undamaged; of forming a complete and harmonious whole; unity.

Again the words “the joy that was set before him” came to me and stirred up my curiosity. Not having perfected the memory verse practice, I typed the words into the search bar and read Hebrews 12:1-2:

“Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the author and finisher of the faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”

Here we find so many rich truths tucked into these two verses I want to consider some of them in the next few weeks. 

Imagine this…we are compassed about.

What I have come to understand is that the heroes of the Old Testament represent “a great cloud of witnesses,” which surrounds us in a stadium-like fashion. This does not mean that our deceased spiritual family and friends literally are looking down, observing our present activity. Instead suggests that their abiding examples of faithful endurance are like a cheering crowd, urging us toward victory.

We can take a few minutes here, close our eyes and see ourselves in that place surrounded by those people who’ve been a powerful example of endurance and perseverance for you. Feel the weightiness of the joy as their lives represent that which you want for yourselves.

With that, we can “lay aside every weight” like the ancient runner who was compelled to let go of every hindrance, a child of God laying aside every distraction, especially those affairs where we miss the mark and fall short, including our unbelief.

Let me leave you with these questions and an art journal prompt:

  1. Who are your heroes that represent a great cloud of “witnesses” that surround you?
  2. List the distractions, shortcomings, and unbelief that are holding you back physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

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