No I am not being self obsessed I actually have been thinking about joy...not just me the person but the whole concept of this wee word that has been with me for a good few years. People sing joy to the world or Ive got that joy joy joy joy down in my heart on a regular basis at me and each time think they have come up with something really original...torture! I always find that if in church when we sing a song with the word joy in it I cant help but feel weird...I think it feels weird to say your own name out loud...anyway enough of my rambling.
The Joy of God is a phenomenal thing.
Real joy comes from knowing our maker and being one with him. It comes from a deep knowledge and security in Jesus. When the storms come and the boat rocks it gives us the ability to know, not just hope but know that everything will be good, not just ok. That's hard sometimes.
Joy makes us feel the warmth of Gods love deep down in our very bones and gives us a peace and calm that happiness just cant muster.
Joy and happiness are not the same for me. I have felt joy before even in sad times.
I remember about 3 years ago when my Granada got sick. I loved him so much.
I just happened to be off for the summer before I went back to do my finals at queens. I had free time.
He was nursed in a side ward on the ward where my mum has worked for years in Craigavon and her friends were the nurses that looked after him. I had the privilege of holding his hand for quite literally a whole week. I was there when he breathed his last as were a lot of my close family. As was Jesus. We were so sad to loose our wee granda. He was such a good man. A man of God who lived a good, full life and who was the perfect male role model for all the generations that followed him. His death was sad, heart breaking but we felt the presence of God and even the Joy of God with us as we all came together.
I have felt joyful at work on many occasions...yes you heard me right at work. When you feel your cheeks burn with concentration and interest into figuring out whats wrong with someone and then making them better. Or by just holding someones hand when they are scared.
I feel joyful tonight as I spent time with friends and laughed a lot.
I have struggled a bit with my mood over the past year. Possibly linked to stress and tiredness but I have found that something that I really need to keep close to God. Yet even on those low days when you could just lie in bed and not face the world I find it so amazing that God has grace and we can still know that it will be OK. We still have Joy even if our faces don't say it.
I love it though when my face radiates joy and God. you don't need to look in a mirror you can just tell that he is burning in you and its bursting forth.
As I choose to spend time with God and people who love him. As I serve others and give myself away, as well as looking after my health and my mind I can sense the deep Joy of God inside.
As women and maybe this applies to guys too our looks and weight....the list is endless can sometimes effect our joy...when we feel like we are having an ugly day or we don't feel good about ourselves. This is something that unfortunately comes with our flashiness. Maybe when we are old and grey we will drop all that and just be content when we realise it doesn't really matter that much. We need balance. We need rest. We need work and fun. We need good times and to a degree hard times. Above all we need the Joy of God to be our strength like a huge tunnel that runs under our lives that we can walk through even when things pile up..
Joy and happiness are not the same but they are lovely in combination. Joy though is the part that we can rely on. Its strong and firm and it wont move from under us with circumstance.