Day 23: I Choose Joy: Five-Minute Friday

This post is part of my Write 31 Days challenge and also the Five-Minute Friday online community that I participate in each Friday. A one-word prompt is given every Friday and we are encouraged to just free-write for 5 minutes and post it to our blogs without over-thinking or editing. If you’d like to participate, you can get more info on the Five-Minute Friday community and link-up on this site . For more information about 31 Days click here.

Joy

Joy.  A simple word. Only 3 letters long.  Easy to recognize at some times:

Holding a baby in your arms moments after giving birth: Joy.

Falling asleep and waking up next to the person you love: Joy.

But when it gets confused with its cousin “happiness,” it becomes more elusive.  We buy into the myth that when we don’t feel happy, we can’t possibly have joy either.  And so life happens.  Ugly, terrible, awful things happen and they hurt.  They hurt our eyes to see.  They hurt our minds to process.  And they hurt our hearts to feel.

Homelessness.  

Starvation.  

Abuse.

 Poverty.  

Neglect.  

Disease.  

Divorce.  

Addiction.  

Suicide.  

Adultery.

 Accidents.  

Suffering.  

Pain.  

Death.

And–if you’re anything like me–this is when you begin to wonder: What kind of God can really expect us to find Joy in a world where these things happen always?   

Perhaps–if you’re anything like me–you missed the key to unlocking this not-so-secret answer.

Joy disguises itself in hope, faith, trust, and gratitude.

Happiness is a feeling.  It comes and goes.  It depends on circumstances and people and things that are beyond our control and will inevitably let us down.  But Joy is a choice.  It’s a choice disguised in trusting a Savior when circumstances seem bleak and nothing adds up.   Joy is disguised in hope…but not hoping FOR something.  Hoping IN someOne.  Joy is disguised in the strong, yet deliberate, decision to be grateful for the ugly, terrible, awful things because you know that they are not the ONLY things and certainly not The End of a tragic story.  Joy does not depend on circumstances, situations, people, or prognoses.  Joy is NOT blind faith in a God I cannot see.  Joy is an on-purpose choice to place my faith and my life in the palms of a God whose face I have seen in miracles, victories, and in the lives of those who overcome when people dare to whisper, “impossible.”  Because with Him all things are possible.  And because of Him, I choose Joy.

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