“Are you happy today?” I was asked this on Thursday, Feb 6th. It was my birthday.
My response, “I have the joy of the Lord.”
I wasn’t happy; not at that moment, tbh. BUT THE JOY OF THE LORD? Now, this is the kind of wish I hope for when blowing out my birthday candles. Having the joy of the Lord is where I want to remain, although things don’t FEEL happy or joyous at the time.
I stay amazed at how quickly emotions toss us to and fro. We’re up one day, and we’re down the next. We hope for the camp/ conference experience where we meet Jesus practically face to face, and then… poof! Where is the power?!
I am guilty of being way up one day, and comfortable in my dark pit the very next day. Why is this? How CAN this even be possible?!
#ConfessionSession- Not ALWAYS has good Word, fallen on good soil in me. (See Matt. 13:4-8)
My deepest desire is to live by the Word, but the Word hasn’t always been my instruction manual to manage, even at times cope with life. I read the Word; nothing lands. I wrestle and fight till God blesses me like the account of Jacob; the next day I am in a pit like Joseph. It’s maddening! Why do we face these difficult seasons?
Friends, let me encourage you- it’s not only you. I believe if most of us were vulnerable enough with our faith and many times doubt, many would see that those truly thirsty for change, aren’t always the victors in life’s stories. Sometimes it takes our failures to lead us back to community with God and relatability with others. It’s our failures that are the EXACT reason many of us simply just can’t go back. Whatever back is. We know where we have been, we know what we have SURVIVED. If anything we face now isn’t a direct indication to the courage we’ve had to survive back then, we’re missing something. We would know in our knower, the purpose of our pain will always lead us back to the ONLY one who can heal us from that pain. Pain from the result of a fallen world where hurt people hurt people; pain from the consequences of when you yourself have played the villain in a story.
If whatever you face isn’t leading you back to the only One powerful enough to work it out for your good, you are pain is in vain. Your hurts have no value, they have no purpose. And this is where most of us begin to die from the inside out.
“I have the joy of the Lord,” I replied.
What does the joy of the Lord mean to you? For me, it simply means this:
When I am not always that fertile ground in which words land and bear good fruit, God still pursues me. When I don’t say the right things, react more than I respond, or when I have been guilty of hurting others, yet, even still… God sees me. He still chooses me and I am still able with every new day begin again and make things right. This is true joy.
“… And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
May the joy of the Lord be your super power to live a repentant life. A new morning, a second chance, mercy and grace… these are all reasons to embrace joy and live joyfully!
Selah deep my friends! Joy comes in the morning.
39 year old, Mónica