JOY. I know the challenge of receiving joy may seem impossible for my friend grieving her mother’s death, for a family friend heartbroken from the death of his baby, for a father regretting his choice to leave his family, and for countless others managing unimaginable circumstances. It seems unreasonable to think JOY is possible in the hard places of life. And, yet, I can say, joy is always possible. I have walked with people who possess joy despite the worst of the worst circumstances. I understand. I’ve experienced joy when there’s no reason on earth to have joy.
I agree with C.S. Lewis, “Joy is the serious business of heaven.”
JOY, heaven’s gift, moves past the messiness, pressures, and tragedies of the world. The thing is . . . I’ve learned heaven’s gift of joy . . . is part of the faith and hope that moves us through the hard places of life.
The people in the Christmas story were definitely not exempt from the hardships of life. Mary, one of the key characters, had to step over the challenges to experience joy. Certainly, the ancient society did not understand or approve of Mary’s pregnancy occurring before marriage. Yet. She described her joy from heaven in the midst of the pressures she faced:
Her words are worth repeating as the third week of advent begins. Given all that is going on in this world, it’s time to share JOY, heaven’s gift to the world. Today . . . light the candle symbolizing hope . . . light the candle symbolizing love . . . and light the candle symbolizing joy, remembering joy comes from heaven.
Joy in action–Ellie getting ready for Christmas pictures.