By: Luke Leonard

Nehemiah 8:10

… the joy of the Lord is your strength.

“Joy” is one of those words, like “grace”, that I identify with Jesus. Somehow joy and praise go together like peanut butter and jelly. In his book Hope for Each Day, the Reverend Billy Graham defines “joy” in terms of "serving the Lord" and realizing great contentment in our personal relationship with him.

Joy is one of those attributes we try to emphasize at work. My wife and I have done adoption work for over 30 years. We have had the privilege of helping prospective adoptive couples and birth mothers share their lives with us in the process of arranging for an adoption.

From the couple's side where they’ve experienced infertility, numerous surgeries, disappointments or even ridicule, adoption is a joyful gift from God. From the birth mother's perspective, she’s often experienced poor self-esteem, possible violent retribution from the birth father, rejection from her family, or legal troubles. For these mothers, adoption can be their chance to do good.

Working with both sides of the adoption question has given our staff that honored relationship formed through mutual trust and respect. We have found it a way to serve our Lord and bring joy into people’s lives.

Witnessing the almost inexplicable joy of the adoptive couple in "being made whole" is beyond meaning. And the birth mother, although it is a heart-wrenching experience for her, is blessed with the knowledge of having enriched another’s life and helped to bring about a turning point in the lives of others.

TAKE THE CHALLENGE: How can I serve the Lord while bringing joy to my workplace?