River otters seem to turn everything they do into a game. Instead of climbing down a riverbank, they slide down it. Instead of swimming in the water, they frolic in it. Instead of walking on the sand, they bounce along like hyper puppies. God filled otters with joy when He created them. This makes them living illustrations of the joyful attitude we should have as Christians.
The Bible commands that we rejoice always (1 Thessalonians 5:16), and although otters appear to have an abundant joy that overflows every day, for us joy will not always be easy to come by. Jobs and illnesses may exhaust us, selfish desires may confuse us, or injustice may make us bitter.
Many things can turn our gaze away from Christ. It’s only if we keep our eyes on Him that we can follow the example of otters and continue rejoicing. We need to remember that Jesus has redeemed our souls, and one day He will fix all of the problems in our world so that we will have joy eternal.
In addition to focusing on Christ, there are some other things we can do that will help us to consistently live like otters:
- Pray for God to make us joyful.
- Nourish our souls by reading the Bible.
- Be grateful for the blessings God has given us.
- Do our work as a service to Him.
- Show kindness to others and encourage them.
- Seek out time to relax, no matter how busy we get. Even Jesus took time away from His earthly ministry to rest.
Watching a video of otters scampering about having fun is also a good idea. Seeing such adorable little fuzzballs delighting in being alive gives a glimpse of what heaven will be like when there’s nothing bad left to burden us. Even the grumpiest person in the world would have a hard time holding back a smile with otters around.
As we go about our daily lives, facing the difficulties that sometimes come, we need to live like otters and be filled with the joy of the Lord. By focusing on Jesus and taking other practical steps to keep ourselves rejoicing, we’ll be well on our way to having the joy God wants us to have.