Genesis 1:3 And God said, ‘Let there be light!’

Psalm 119:130 Understanding your word brings light to the minds of ordinary people.  (CEV)

Explosive joy filled me the other day!

I speak French and am now working daily with Spanish.  But decades ago, when I arrived at university, I started Russian and kept at it for 3 ½ years.  Unfortunately, I have barely used it since.

Yet, 41 years later, God dropped a joy bomb into my lap when I read and understood a short text in simple Russian, forwarded on by a sister language coach. She’s writing a reader for her Russian learners and offered to gift me with the first 4 short chapters, together with a glossary. With dubious expectations of what I would be able to understand I sat down before dinner one afternoon to have a go at it.

To my shock, I understood the first page and a half!!! I could actually still read Cyrillic and comprehend the story line.  The sheer pleasure of reading in another language and understanding it shocked me. I think it’s because I have scanty Russian and as such, assumed I would struggle.

Au contraire!

Not only has the delight, the pleasing surprise stayed with me, this experience has confirmed the necessity of encouraging my English and Spanish on-line students to read in their second language.  Of course, I must curate the texts to ensure success and JOY for my learners.

That’s the goal – giving delight to another student, just as I, a re-invigorated Russian language-learner, received and was able to exult in reading with understanding. But this joy is not limited to second-language learners.  There’s joy to be had in reading and understanding God’s Word

Do you remember the exiles who returned from Babylonia to rebuild the city wall surrounding Jerusalem? The book of Nehemiah tells the account when Ezra read the Scriptures to the people. It goes on to say that the teachers of the law, the Levites, systematically explained to the people what the text meant.

Nehemiah 8:10, 12 (Nehemiah said)…..“This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.

When I teach Spanish and English, I make it my goal to clarify meaning and remove obstacles so that my students can acquire a language with joy.  Our Holy Spirit of God acts similarly, moving in us, shedding light and understanding so WE can experience great joy.

With joy comes strength. Strength to endure hard work, whether learning a language or overcoming sin, the world and the devil through faith.

Is there someone you can guide side-by-side, moving slowly through some Scripture, showing her that with the Holy Spirit’s help we children of God CAN understand what God has said and done? What a privilege!  What joy awaits you both.