Joy. That sometimes illusive aspect of life. If someone asked you what the word joy meant, could you give them a concise, definition, right off the top of your head? More importantly, could you tell them about how you regularly find joy in your life?
The American Heritage Dictionary defines joy as, “the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation.” One of the things I ask my wife, everyday, is what have you done today to find a little joy in your life. For me, I find joy in creation. Some days I just sit under the tree at church by the playground soaking up the ways I can feel God; breeze on my face, sun on my back, aroma in the air. Other days I just ride my bike in silence on my way to pick up Parker from school, and listen as God gives me things to ponder and think about. On really good days, I roll around in the backyard or on the living room floor...or both...with my boys. To hear their laughter, feel their embrace, and know they are lost in the fun we are having, is complete and utter joy for me. And on those occasions where a life is changed, a soul saved, or an eternity is secured...words are just not enough to describe that feeling.
However, I also understand that there are some days, some weeks, even some seasons, where joy escapes us. Where no matter how hard we try, how hard we seek, how hard we work, it seems joy is no where to be found. I know what those seasons feel like in my life. When I am going through those times I remind myself of Zephaniah 3:17, “The LORD your God is in your midst—a warrior bringing victory. He will create calm with his love; he will rejoice over you with singing.” For me, to know no matter what I am going through, no matter how daunting my journey ahead may seem, that I have a God that will calm me with his love, is vital. Knowing that, I seek ways to see God; through prayer, fasting, quiet time, Scripture reading, in creation. In the midst of our darkness finding that time is tough, but we have to try.
So I ask you, what have you done lately to find joy in your life? Whether time has passed you by and joy has escaped you, whether you are in the midst of a tough season in life and joy has not been seen for a while, I encourage you to seek it out. And whether you find it in small doses or heaping helpings, savor it. God is here, God wants you to have joy, God will help you find it. Remember, if you have no joy, then there is no way you can give joy to others. And one of the best things about joy is sharing it with others!
Have a great week and see you Sunday!