Tuesday, December 13, 2011


A couple of years ago Papa gave me a message to share on the topic of joy.
More specifically it had to do with the joy we are suppose to experience at this time of year.

Papa has been bringing up the subject again.

This year the season seems to be such a jumble for me.
My usual routine is nowhere to be found.

It had been my practice, for many a year, to have finished the majority of my Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving.
Not this year.
The list is smaller these days, but somehow not as easy to get through...

By now I should be baking a few cookies with Christmas music playing in the background....

Instead change is in the air....

Matt and Mindy are moving which means that Ray and I will officially be empty-nesters.
The thought leaves me unsettled.
Don't get me wrong, I do believe it is time for the two couples to live independently, but change can be unsettling, even when you know it is the right thing.

I have been working on the two of us being independent, but it only works so far.
We will just have to take things as they come.
And we will have two of our sons nearby to lend a hand.

So back to the subject of joy.

It cannot be dependent upon externals.
Papa designed it to be a constant, no matter the circumstances.

I think to get it we must first understand what joy is and what it isn't.

My thesaurus offers these words for joy:
Delight, happiness, pleasure, enjoyment, bliss, ecstasy, elation, joyfulness, thrill and wonder.

Some of the feelings described are transient at best on the human level.

I have been experiencing sleeplessness for a number of days.  Sleep deprivation makes it difficult to delight (or any of those other words) in much of anything.  It really casts a dark shadow over most things.

Let's see what Papa has to say about the subject.
Joy is described as a result of knowing Him and of being in His Presence. 
" O come let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.  Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms."
It is a mark of those who are His.

We are encouraged by Jesus example who was motivated by joy to endure the cross according to Hebrews.
The joy of redeeming us.

Joy is not something that is manufactured.
No, it is the outflow of knowing the truth.

No matter the ups and downs of this life, I know that they are all temporary.
A day is coming when nothing will be a jumble, nor unsettling.

I think it is all summed up in Isaiah Fifty-One, verse eleven.
"So the ransomed of the LORD will return, and come with joyful shouting to Zion; and everlasting joy will be on their heads.  They will obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away."
That is enough to stir joy in my heart right now!

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