Where do we find joy when joy seems elusive? Where do we find it in the middle of death and financial difficulty, in the middle of natural disasters, betrayal, or sickness. Or just in the middle of the common ache of life?
Perhaps it is not joy that is escaping us but that quick emotional high we get from the feel good moments of life? When those feel good moments vanish, where does joy go?
Joy is there and happiness too. But it it not quite the same. It is no longer a happy that is fleeting and fragile crushed by a bucketful of tragic circumstances.
Yes, it's that happy-go-lucky happy that I'm not sure I can find.
But a deep sturdy joy?
A deep seeded, God-is-here-in-the-midst-of-this joy? An I'm-not-afraid joy that claws its way out of the pit of circumstance?
A die-to-my-own-desires joy, a letting-go-of-how-you-thought-life-would-be-because-you-are-trusting-God's-way joy?
That joy is here. It's not light and fluffy, rainbows and roses.
It is joy that fights its way out from your soul, a form of trench warfare that pits joy against your need for control, your anger, your impatience, and your pride. Joy that does not come as a regal warrior who conquered your heart with one swift move all while atop a white horse. It's dirty and disheveled, almost unrecognizable.
We want the white horse, but joy comes on a swaybacked old mare.
We want fast victory but joy is a long lesson.
We want a powerful hero but joy comes in on tiptoes.
Joy is there; it's just not as it seems.
Find it in the small moments.
Fight for it in the chaos.
Choose to believe it will be there.
Because the divine God is almost always about human contradiction. Humbleness makes you strong. Laying down your life makes your life worth more. Being last makes you first. Sorrow brings you an unshakable joy.
2 Corinthians 6:3-10
But in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things.