Allow me to share a quick story with you. Indulge me, please, it's a bit convoluted and may leave you scratching your head saying "I don't get it." But it punctuates my post about Joy so completely that it would be a shame not to share it.
I take my dog for a walk nightly. My blind and deaf dog. The one that can't see or hear. Remember him? Well last night I must not have buckled his harness correctly because as soon as we stepped outside he slipped his leash and took off down the sidewalk. I couldn't call for him to Stay because he can't hear. I couldn't trust that he'd stop running on his own before he bolted out onto the main street at the end of our block because he can't see. So I started running behind him, knowing there was no possible way I'd catch up. Then I saw a man walking a puppy, coming right toward me. I yelled "He slipped his leash!" and the guy bent down just as Smashy came careening toward him and with one hand, ONE HAND, easily and calmly subdued him and made him sit until I got there. Smashy did make one wild lunge for the man's puppy, but only one, and the man never lost control of him or let him get away. Unless you are the owner of a dog which becomes partially psychotic at the smell of another dog, you may not understand the significance here.
Anyway, I ran up, grabbed my dog by the throat, er, scruff of the neck, thanked the man copiously, and re-leashed my dog. I was walking away thinking about what had just happened; I walk Smashy at the same time every night. I'm very familiar with the neighborhood goings-on. I had never seen this man in my neighborhood, ever before. I had never seen that puppy before (I would know, it was the sweetest, cutest puppy). Just as I was pondering the significance of this "chance" encounter that may or may not have saved me a lot of heartache, I rounded the corner and was immediately heart-slain by the sight of our favorite neighborhood Christmas house.
Allow me to esplain. No, that will take too long. Allow me to sum up. There's a house that at Christmas time is decorated with the sweetest Christmas light display. It has been this way since we moved into the neighborhood 6 years ago. Every year we take walks around the block and marvel at how nice this house looks. This year, no lights. Nothing. So every night as I take my constitutional, I pray for the homeowners of that house. I've been thinking things like 'what if he lost his wife and doesn't feel like decorating this year? what if they experienced some tragedy?' So I pray. We always notice the missing light display because it's a corner house and we see it every single time we enter or exit our neighborhood.
So. I'm pondering the thought that maybe, just maybe, the Lord sent that dog-walker to help me out of a pretty bad jam, when I round the corner and Oh My Goodness All The Lights Are Up At That House. The candles, the train, the moving deer, EVERYTHING. I burst into tears.
And here's the moral of the story (thanks for hanging in there with me): God is faithful in the little things. No, he is faithful in the tiny, minute, miniscule, microscopic things that mean so much to us...that we don't even realize how much they mean until he shows us.
Early that day I had received some scary news about a loved one. I was anxiety-riddled. Then God showed me that he loves me so much by lighting up my night and saving my dog. Two things completely insignificant to the rest of humanity, but meant so much to me that by the time I got home to tell D what had happened I was a blubbering mess. I just kept saying "He's so faithful and I'm so not." God is faithful to me even down to the minutia of my day. What a lesson in love.