JOY

When I think about JOY, what comes to mind? . . . To be honest, I believe true joy is a reality only fully realized in “deep waters.”

As frail humans, we are prone to confuse a few things. We interpose good with easy. We think joy means happiness.

If these are not happy days, how can we know joy? If this season is not easy, how can we call it good? More tragic yet, we begin to wonder if GOD is sovereign over all things, and we can’t trace the meaning in what grieves us, how can we call Him good? How do we begin to understand Him as the Author and Giver of JOY?

Real questions. Answers that don’t come easily or quickly. Unlike the pretty wreath in the image below, it can all feel tangled and illusive. These are the wrestlings that send us pillowing into His embrace, desperate for any glimmer of light or hope in the dark.

But GOD. His Truth is lived out in our lives and our hearts again and again that genuine, inexplicable, triumphant JOY can and does rise over our hardest days! Maybe it isn’t as tangled as we think, but woven, meticulously orchestrated from a heart of grace!?

It is in prayers from the depths, songs from the dungeon, letters from prison.

It is in His ear that hears. It is in His touch so tender. It is in His power that overrules. It is in His Presence that enwraps us, almost tangibly.

Almighty GOD, Creator of the universe, comes close to *me* to offer Himself as *my* Savior! He has already secured victory for me over sin and death, but He doesn’t stop there. He is ready and willing and able to rescue me from all that threatens to undo and bury me!

The fresh realization staggers me in awestruck wonder. Tears start to roll. My spirit warms and rises to receive His intimate care. My shoulders relax in a rest-filled exhale. He is near. He holds me secure. He takes my hand in His, and whispers again, “you are Mine, all is well.”

He opens my eyes to see beauty in the broken, even as He speaks a word of fresh redemption over all that seems hopeless.

My heart overflows is grateful praise. My soul rejoices in GOD *my* Savior! Awed by His Person. Steadied by His Truth. Wrapped in His Love. All of the above eternally unchangeable.

This is J•O•Y!

I hardly know how to frame it or explain it, yet hearts who know grace cannot keep silent.

photo credit: unknown

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