The Joy of Living

“Jesus is the joy of living, He’s the king of life to me,
Unto him my all I’m giving, His for evermore to be.
I will do what He commands me, anywhere He leads I’ll go.
Jesus is the joy of living, He’s the dearest friend I know.”

This chorus from an old hymn speaks to my heart. The words give expression to my longing to live in such a way, in these latter years of my life, that He will be able to present me to His Father with the words: “Here is a good and faithful servant”.

Having committed my life to Him in my late teens, and being 90 on my next birthday, I am too human for the words of the chorus to be true for every day of all those years. Born in 1928, into a working class family and brought up during the Great Depression; leaving school at 15 and working to help support the family; all the time being sent to Sunday School, I learned about Jesus.

When a godly old pastor asked me why I didn’t put my trust in Jesus, I had no answer. So that night I commenced on the Calvary* road.

Regrets, I’ve had a few; mistakes, I’ve made a lot; perfect I’m certainly not, but right now, and for some time past I can say with real meaning: JESUS IS THE JOY OF LIVING, HE’S THE KING OF LIFE TO ME, UNTO HIM MY ALL I’M GIVING HIS FOR EVERMORE TO BE. I WLL DO WHAT HE COMMANDS ME, ANYWHERE HE LEADS I’LLGO, JESUS IS THE JOY OF LIVING, HE’S THE DEAREST FRIEND I KNOW.

Eric Porter, at 89, continues to be a member of St Michael’s Anglican Cathedral, Wollongong.

* ‘Calvary’ refers to the hill outside where Jesus was executed on the cross, the Latin translation of Golgotha (John 19:17).

Eric Porter