I’m participating in The Gypsy Mama’s 5 Minute Friday where we paint pictures with words for 5 minutes without editing–just let the words flow.
When I saw the topic this morning I felt stumped. I’m not sure why–I have plenty in my life which produces joy–but I wasn’t sure how to write about the joy I feel at certain moments. Perhaps, because if I’m writing honestly, I don’t always feel that joy that I should have. So I pondered the meaning of joy this morning as I got ready for the day. I looked up definitions, hoping that I would see a big difference between ‘joy’ and ‘happiness,’ but our English dictionaries all produce similar definitions.
However, as I brushed my teeth and straightened my hair, I pictured my friends. Friends who had lost babies. Friends who had lost husbands. Friends who had lost jobs. And I pictured my son in the backseat of the van when he told me we should turn off the news–we didn’t need to listen to three different reports of people getting shot.
And in that moment of picturing, I knew that this world was too hard–it could crush the spirit–apart from God. Finding joy isn’t about finding happiness in every moment of this fallen world. Finding joy is experiencing contentment and remembering the grace that God freely gives.
Because apart from that grace, I would see too many bleak days outside my window, but instead, I can throw my hands up in surrender to Him. I can yell, “Okay! This is the lot you gave me in life!” and know that He will hold my hand as I walk it. And while holding His hand and experiencing His grace, I can whisper it is well with my soul, even when the circumstances around my life are not.
Okay, I can’t lie, especially when writing about God. I, again, took more than five minutes. I swear, I must have the slowest thinking brain of all you bloggers out there. Oh, well. Forgive me. And to be honest–I’ll probably break the rules again (but I still didn’t edit). How would you define ‘joy’?
7 thoughts on “Joy”
"I can throw my hands up in surrender to Him….and know that He will hold my hand as I walk…"
Jennifer, as far as I'm concerned, you can take as long to blog it as you like, when the words you come up with are that profound!!
Thanks for sharing; I needed that picture this morning!
Beautiful picture and beautiful post. It is Well with My Soul is about one of my favorite hymns. The story behind it is cool as well. It is the hardest thing to do and say, to surrender, but oh, so worth it.
Yes, that story is amazing. My prayer is that I could have such faith to write a hymn as this if I lost my family, as well.
Beautiful words. Such truth here, Jennifer. I did the same thing this morning … pondering on joy. I kept coming back to Hebrews 12:2, where it says that Jesus endured the cross "for the JOY set before Him." Wow. That blows my mind.
Yes, reflecting on a verse like that just shows me how far I have to go!
I struggle with the five minute rule too and sometimes I round up a little! It can be so hard to pinpoint that elusive emotion?, quality?, attitude?! I love your thoughts on identifying of our source of joy
Just thinking of the word, "joy" makes me smile. If i ever have another girl, she will be named JOY.
You are so right, though, that true joy doesn't come from material things; but from the Father who loves us all the time. Love this post, Jen. 🙂