True, deep, indwelling joy is one of the most overwhelming gifts of God. Recently, I've felt like I might just burst I'm so full of blessings from God.
Several years ago, I remember praying a prayer. I was tired of circumstantial joy. And I was beginning to realize that joy that comes from any source other than God Himself is no more than a counterfeit. I prayed and asked God to help me truly learn to allow Him to be my source of joy-- regardless of circumstance.
I certainly haven't "arrived," but God is good and has brought me so much closer to fulfillment of that prayer. Africa had a lot to do with that. But then, so did other things. Honestly though, I think in the growing process, the thing that has most helped me to this point is a recognition of where my blessings come from. The consciousness that every good thing that comes in my life is a gift straight from my Father above has helped my love for God grow immeasurably. (James 1:17)
I think a great majority of people on Earth are living life half asleep-- unaware of the presence and prominence of God in their lives. And in part, it is this unawareness, unconsciousness that deprives them of the abundant life that God has promised for this life and eternity.
I've always been slightly envious of those with infectious personalities. You know, the people that everyone loves to be around because they are just so full of life. The ones who can make you smile just by being present, the ones that breathe joy.
So I suppose it's time to modify my prayer. I truly hope that God can take this joy He's poured into my heart and let it flow out to others. I hope that He can give me a passion to share my Source of joy that others can have the same indwelling joy that brings life more abundant.