Wow.  Every time I watch this clip, I am amazed at how well they captured my disorder.  It is not so much a fear of cameras or being photographed, but more of an involuntary reflex where my face looks like somebody is pinching my spleen.  Any time a camera is pointed at me, it is as if any attempt to smile results in a cramp in every muscle in my neck and face. 

My face has enough problems as it is, but any formal photographs taken of me are embarrassingly hideous.  I try my best to smile and look happy.  I want to be like every other human on earth and look like I enjoy my life.  Instead, I end up looking like somebody slipped a dill pickle in my milkshake.  It is painful.

Growing up, I got similar impressions from many of the Christians I interacted with.  They rarely seemed happy, especially when talking about their faith.  They seemed so concerned with fearing the rapture and convincing everyone they were right that they seemed miserable.

That is incomprehensible to me.  How on earth can you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, interact with the Creator of everything, and be filled with the Holy Spirit and still look so unhappy? 

Having gone from certain death to eternal life, we should be full of joy all the time.  That doesn’t mean that we always have to be smiling.  That doesn’t mean that we don’t hurt or go through tough times.  It means that we know how it all ends, and in the meantime we are constantly wrapped in the loving arms of our Father. 

We can show our joy through our perseverance, our faith, our giving, and our dedication to doing His work and serving our neighbors.  Our joy becomes evident when we tell our stories (testimonies) and share what He means to us.

We have no reason to be afraid.  We have no reason to worry.  But we have every reason to rejoice with every fragile breath with which we have been blessed.  We have every reason to tell everyone we see about His love and how awesome our God is.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  (Philippians 4:4 NIV)

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