Catching Joy

7:30 AM

In every hole, there is a way out, and there is always even the tiniest guide-light peeping in on us. No one is ever trapped. There is always a way out. When it rains, it rains, but even the sun can shine during the rain and even if it doesn't, it is there. No one is ever in the dark. There is always a light. There is always a path home, no matter how way out and lost one can get. No one is ever truly lost.

For the people of God, there is always a way out, a light and a path. God gives even the smallest hints of deliverance no matter what the trial. He has promised it, and He will provide. In every day, no matter how hectic, ruined, miserable, rain-sodden - there are glimpses of something better. We look for them like fireflies floating in the dark, always there and only seen by the seeing. Hope. Peace. Life. They are there, if one has eyes for the looking.

When things go wrong we react like Pandora and shut out Hope right after every other miserable creature flies out into our face. Right before Hope has a chance to fly. We grumble and whine, cry, pout, worry, pour out torrents of misery before the Throne which deserves only praise and glory.

He has told us, "Rejoice - always" and we still cry, refusing to see the light glimmers flickering dimly in our lives. They, if allowed, can wick away heart's despair and set alight a joy only found in a Christian's soul during trial.

There is always a hope and a joy. If we don't see it, that is a trouble of the flesh, not the Spirit. Has He abandoned us? Has He put us here for no reason? Is He sleeping or deaf, like a Baal? Or is He the living God who planned the life we are in, sent the trial we're wrestling, foreordained the annoyance we're complaining about? Is He God?

Every trial (from screaming kids to AP exams) is a test to see whether we will choose God or not and our heart's cry is our belief. Hearts screaming in pain, in grumbling, in discontentment, believe that God does not exist, does not order our lives, cannot, evidently, do anything about it. Katherine Luther understood this. Her reformer husband had gone around in deep despair for quite some time and she had had quite enough of it. He found her in mourning clothes. "Who died?" he asked. "Apparently," she said, "God has."

"Unrealistic," the scoffer cries. "That's a theology for ostriches, but real life is hard and painful and not going away anytime soon." That shouldn't put us joy followers down. What, then? Salvation is not a reality? Our forgiveness and cleansing is not real? We have no reason to find highest - almost giddy - joy in a God who delights in us, protects us, cherishes us? I see perfectly the reason why you're grumbling.

It is not unrealistic; it is a different focus - a focus that chooses to let that light grow bigger in our eyes and the troubles of the world grow dimmer. Stress is real. Trials are real. And Christ is real. That we focus on the troubled waters is evidence of our lack of faith, not our sensitivity to reality. Christ is there and very much real, and if we reach out to Him during our stresses and forget about our complaint and find something to praise, so much more could be done for Him.

If we go hunting for the joy glimmers smattered about our lives, we will always end up with more than a jar full - for we will find Christ Himself, and He is all in all.

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2 impressions

  1. I love that story of Katherine Luther (didn't we hear that on the "story hour" in the car - or am I dreaming?)

    After memorizing the book of James - it's pretty clear God leaves a way.



    P.s. Are my comments still not intellegent - like you pointed out? ;)

    P.P.S. What is theology for ostriches? - kidding...

  2. Dear Maiden for Jesus,

    Thanks for the encouragement. It's been a trying week, and my cries for God to change my heart have been answered in part through this little post. God bless.


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