This holiday season has been full of joy, sadness, laughs, and tears. Sometimes, I catch myself being joyful and then feel the deep hurt of loss or disappointment and I feel so conflicted. How is it that I can feel such joy and hurt at the same time? Life seems to have hills and valleys.. ups and downs. I sometimes feel like it’s a balancing act with one foot at the top of the mountain and other in the dark valley. And… y’all know I’m not good at balancing…. one little push or loss of focus will have me toppled over … the loss of footing on my joy leaving me battered and bruised in the valley of despair.
You may can relate to that too… and I want you to join with me in knowing that we can choose JOY and we can spread JOY!
Kay Warren’s definition of Joy according to scripture:
Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.
In her book Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough, Kay Warren states, “…I’ve come to realize that life is much more like a set of parallel train tracks with joy and sorrow running inseparably throughout our days. … One of our toughest challenges in life is to learn how to live on both of those tracks at the same time.” Kay goes on to encourage and remind us that “One day, in the brightness of his coming, we will meet [Jesus] face to face. And when we do, the tracks of joy and sorrow will merge. The sorrow will disappear forever, and only the joy will remain.”
Kay Warren’s definition of joy and her explanation has helped me understand that I can choose joy in hard times. It’s absolutely fine to feel pain and sorrow .. but, don’t get stuck on that track…. there is another track of joy running right beside it… recognize it and choose to keep one foot on that track! And after we choose joy for ourselves.. we can share it with those around us. I believe we can spread joy by helping others feel love in the present, peace with the past, and hope in a brighter future.
Give Love – Be present with those around you. Share a smile, a hug, and random acts of kindness.
Give Peace – Peace comes from both giving and receiving forgiveness. We cannot change what has happened to us or the choices we’ve made or words we’ve said in the past. But, we can choose to forgive those who have hurt us. We can ask for forgiveness from those whom we have offended. And, most importantly, we can ask for and receive forgiveness from God. When give and receive forgiveness we can live in peace with ourselves and others.
Give Hope – Christmas is an incredibly joyous season to celebrate the birth of Jesus. And, until He returns, let’s keep watch and be ready to celebrate the second “birth” of Jesus to this earth! He is our hope for a joyous eternity.
May this Christmas Season and all the days that follow be filled with JOY!
Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.