I roofed my house over the weekend, so my focus has been elsewhere as a result. (For those of you in the know, we thought we were going to be able to roof over the old roof. But we discovered -- the morning of -- another layer hidden underneath. Which means we have to tear off all the old shingles. Which is a lot more work, a lot more mess and a lot more wear and tear on the body. And requires other materials to complete the project. Gives me field experience in learning how to live in joy.)
But I did observe, in my short time thinking about joy, that when Israel returned from the foreign lands that there was a time where they rediscovered the things of God: the Scriptures, the celebrations, and the rhythm of meeting God and living with and for him. As they became reacquainted, they developed a renewed relationship with God. They began to see him differently. They began to live with him differently. This renewal of relationship also brought a renewal of joy.