“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, [concerning] the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”I John 1:1-4
I remembered when I started working from home when the pandemic started in March of 2023. I have to admit that I rather enjoyed it as I grew accustomed to the perks of no travel time and the ability to use my own restroom. I wasted no time heading to lunch, and I was able to do errands around the house during my lunch hour or breaks. I did not know how it would all work out when I was sent home, but it was a pleasant surprise. I was grateful for the ability to continue to work at that time, and I continue to be grateful for the work God has given me. While I was working from home, all of those in my house were working from home, which included my wife and two teenage kids. The thought of that at first sounded scary to me, but I really came to value it.
Each of us in the Mendez household is still alive and doing well, even though we are around each other 24/7. When I was in the office, I usually took a walk an hour before it was time to wrap up for the day, and I still sought to stay on that schedule as I came to work at home. I started taking these walks with my wife, Rebekah, and I really enjoy this time. We went out for a walk last week, and I told her that I enjoyed these walks and she smiled at me and said, ” I love you” as she put her arm around me. My heart fluttered a bit, and I got a little emotional. I held her tightly and I told her I could not believe it has been over twenty years of marriage that God has given us together.
In 1990, I was smitten by the blonde hair and blue eyes and really did not know the full details about Rebekah. I didn’t even know how to spell her name and misspelled it on the first notes I wrote her. I had these glamorous thoughts of how marriage would be, but I had no idea of how great the gift of marriage truly is. I have come to know Rebekah in a whole different light as we have shared tears of joy and tears of sorrow. We have assembled Ikea furniture together and still survived, and have lived to tell the tale of a drive-by shooting at our next door neighbor’s house. I have come to experience her kindness, patience, gentleness, longsuffering and her selfless love. I am no longer smitten simply by what I can see, but I am in love with the full person I have come to know. Our relationship has grown since 1990, and I am excited for what God has in store for us in the future.
I also remember back to when my relationship started with my Heavenly Father in 1981. I bowed my head and accepted Him as my Lord and Savior as I realized how He loved me in spite of me. I knew very little of His love at that point in my young life, but I did know that He loved me enough to die for me. I knew my eternal security was forever taken care of, but I had no idea what He would become to me as my life progressed. There were times of outright rebellion towards Him and times when He has crushed my heart with His truth. I have experienced His faithfulness, kindness, gentleness, correction and His ever-perfect, amazing love. I have come to know Him much more than I did in 1981, and I have come to see that God is good. I have come to know the peace only He can give and the joy He puts in my heart that no circumstance can take away. I cry when I think of His goodness and love for me, and my cup runs over. He is not only my Lord and Savior, but I have fellowship with Him. He is my confidant, my God, my Savior, and my very best friend. No words can express His goodness, and I would be remiss if I did not praise Him today and for all eternity.
Do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ? Have you accepted Him as your Lord and Savior? How about you Christian? Is your joy full? How is your relationship with the Father? Are there obstructions (sin) keeping you from that sweet fellowship? Do you find joy even in the most difficult circumstances? In the prison times of life, are you singing and praising God? Paul and Silas, in times of great physical trial, were found to be praying and singing praises to God. Acts 16:25 states, “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” What are others hearing from you – the sound of joy or the complaint of your circumstances? As we walk in fellowship with our Savior, may we show the world a life that is full of joy, and a life that bears record of a close walk with the One who is our everything. May our joy be full and may we not let the attractions of this world detract and rob us from His joy. There is nothing sweeter than being full of our Savior’s joy.