The joy of giving

By Dave Henning / January 6, 2013

In Chapter 3 of One Thousand Gifts, author Ann Voskamp offers her definition of joy:

“Joy is the realest reality, the fullest life, and joy is always given, never grasped.  God gives gifts and I give thanks and I unwrap the gift given: joy.”

Put another way, it’s impossible to give something you’re holding onto tightly.

The first step into the miracle of grace, joy and thanksgiving (eucharisteo) consists of gratitude for the “seemingly insignificant”.  Ann emphasizes that if we miss the infinitesimal parts of life, we’ll miss the whole.  As we consistently live a life of gratitude for God’s small gifts, those moments will add up.  We must specify our gratitude.  If we paint our gratitude with broad brushstrokes, we’ll find ourselves deeply thankful for very few things in life.

Such specific gratitude and joy is vital when the soil of our lives has been parched by adversity.  The author crafts this beautiful image of how grace and joy bestow life:

“When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places, let joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices, life grows.”


About the author

Dave Henning

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