The music played loudly. The chatter was even louder as the students tried to be heard above the other noise and each other! They weren’t in trouble and they weren’t creating trouble. If you only listened and didn’t observe you might not have thought so- you might have missed the beauty in the noise.

Their movement was contagious. The dancing brought more laughter and giggles than I had heard in a while. This was a room where everyone was happy and pleased to be in each other’s space. It wasn’t a party. It wasn’t a celebration. It was just children living in the moment. They were enjoying each other in the space and time they were in.

I couldn’t even think straight. I could not hear my own thoughts above all this – yet God spoke to me. He showed me some lessons on joy.

The children were in a moment of freedom. This is what the Lord wants for us. He wants us to experience continual moments of freedom that are filled with singing, dancing, happiness and lasting joy.

He brought me back to scriptures about making a joyful noise, about singing and dancing. About praising God. Scriptures like Psalm 100 ran through my mind.

“Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”

Or, Psalm 150:5, “Praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals”.

I was reminded of the song “Praise Is What I Do” Praise is supposed to be natural, comfortable, in every moment, loud. Perhaps it is ok not to hear ourselves think, but to just BE. BE in God’s presence. BE happy together. BE joyful.

Joy is loud. It is expressive. It is contagious. It cannot be hidden. It is impossible to have a heart of joy and keep it a secret! Joy is shareable and spreads. One may begin sad or frustrated but in the presence of joy, one can’t stay that way. Joy draws people in and takes others with you to a happy place.

Joy releases inhibitions and allows you to live in the now. The students were basically unaware of who was around. They didn’t care who was watching them. They were unaware of how loud they were getting because the excitement was feeding them. In Samuel 6 David basically tells his wife that He will celebrate before the Lord in any way He chooses. He will become “undignified”. He will not focus on or care about what others think. He was going to keep His joy flowing. He was giving all that He had to praise God and it produced for him a feeling and experience that David did not want to give up or trade.

I know that these students were not “praising the Lord”, yet I can’t help but think that they were making the heart of God glad. I am sure that our Father was happy to see and hear His children laughing, sharing happiness and forgetting the cares of the world. The children were in a moment of freedom. This is what the Lord wants for us. He wants us to experience continual moments of freedom that are filled with singing, dancing, happiness and lasting joy. Moments that the cares of this world can’t ruin or take away because we are letting ourselves just Be. Be in God’s presence. Be happy together. Be joyful. And we have every reason to celebrate! When we think of the goodness of God- The joy of the Lord being our strength and His salvation, hope, love and so much more we have the opportunity to share that and not hold back. We have the opportunity to be loud and unashamed. We have the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the noise! Let’s do that today!