Assignment: Joy

The assignment was to write about joy. Sure, I can do that. I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, after all. 

And then I sat down, opened my Bible and looked up verses about joy, lifted the lid of my laptop, and stared at the blank document. Prayed and stared some more. 

What in the world? I mean, I understand joy. I know that I can have joy in any circumstance and that the joy of the Lord is my strength, so why am I stumped? 

The hard work of finding joy

Well, I believe I know why to some degree…because life has been difficult for a long time, and although I still feel joy, I can’t write about it in the way I want to.

I want to write a funny and happy blog about finding joy in unexpected places or a beautiful day blowing bubbles or picnicking by the river. But, for me, the verse that keeps coming to mind is James 1:2. Not quite the fun one I was hoping for.

[verse reference=”James 1:2″]“Count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds.”[/verse]

It fits though, because today was almost 9 hours without power as an electrician tried to figure out the wonky wiring in my house. The reality is that it’s an expense I didn’t count on and I’m trying to find joy in it. So, I’m sitting here thanking God for my house not burning down. (Count it all joy… one.)

The future is very up in the air at the moment on lots of fronts and I honestly have no idea what God wants me to do. Earlier today I took a walk and stopped to talk to some friends down the road. One of them said, after asking me about job plans, “There really are so many options!” In my head I thought, “I don’t know what you are talking about, but I’m thankful for your optimism!” So, I’m thanking God for friends who are encouragers with a vision for the future. (Count it all joy…two.)

While trying to work on this blog, my youngest daughter wanted help with summer job applications. She pulled up a chair beside me and began asking questions. At first I was annoyed because I have a deadline and I can’t get a coherent idea to save my life. But then, we started talking and I shared some of the blogs I’ve written about her. We laughed and reminisced. It was wonderful and just what I needed. So, I’m thanking God for sweet memories, unexpected time to love on my daughter, and interruptions that remind me what the most important things are. (Count it all joy…three.)

What a beautiful reminder to me that my circumstances don’t bring joy, my God does.

What a beautiful reminder to me that my circumstances don’t bring joy, my God does. He is the source of true joy.

Even in the hard, I can trust that God loves me and His purposes for me are good. I’m realizing that in any situation, I can look for joy and find it! (Count it all joy…always.)