When Joy Seeps In
As Christians, we have access to something that sets us apart from all others: joy. I am not sure how to feel deep joy apart from knowing deep grace, the kind that Jesus made possible. That’s why I feel joy, the real kind, is reserved for believers.
I know joy is real, that it’s a thing we have access to through the Holy Spirit, when I’m feeling it at times that I shouldn’t. This hasn’t happened for me often in my life. Even though I’ve been a Christian for a long time, grace and its byproduct joy are things I’m only beginning to understand. I guess it takes some of us a while.
So recently I have been “surprised by joy” at times I would typically have a meltdown or a pity party. I noticed it recently in my car. I had had a week in which I considered quitting dating altogether. I had been disappointed by a guy and a different guy a little before that. Though to me the experiences were dramatic and life-altering, if I were to write the details out for you, you would probably be bored (because in hindsight they aren’t quite so dramatic and life-altering). So I won’t. Just know that I was teetering on the edge as I climbed in my car to run an errand and by the time I got out of my car, I had been overwhelmed by a peace and joy that I could physically feel.
The cause had nothing to do with me or a change of circumstance. Suddenly, the weight that had landed on my chest a few days before was gone and my nerves and my breath went steady and my body felt calm and I felt happy in a strange way, in a joyous way. What a gift. The gift of literally feeling joy, even into your toes.
“Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice….Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” (Ps. 51:8,12)
“The joy of your salvation.” I suppose when we feel this deep, real joy, we are being reminded of our salvation at a time when we need most to be reminded of it. Who we are in Christ, who we are without him. In this way, it makes sense I would feel joy in the face of rejection. And when the joy is as deep as it can be, the meltdown and the pity party just can’t happen. I try to default to them, because it has been my way for so long, but salvation stands guard and the joy overcomes.
It was a joy reading this this morning. Thank you.
So beautifully written. Thanks for sharing!
I’m loving your blog posts, Andrea. You never disappoint me and even when you write something that is not quite relevant to me at this stage of life, I always sense God ministering to me. I love ‘getting to know you’ through your blog. I’ve added one more Lucado to my list of those I love!
Mary, that means so much to me! Coming from a woman I so admire and have for a long time. Thank you
C.S. Lewis just have you a virtual high five from heaven for this blog.
Very well done. Great insights.
Yesss, a high five from CS Lewis? Dream.Come.True
Andrea, I appreciate your gift of writing and your willingness to share your heart. I am grateful when an individual can make a positive impact on others. Keep writing!