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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Filled With Joy

  Filled with joy. Three simple words that carry so much meaning. How can one be filled with joy when so many things try to steal it? Every morning, a new fight for joy begins. Every day, it is a constant struggle to look for the God-given grace in each situation. In the good times, it seems easier to find joy - anyone can be happy when life is going well. But, when it gets hard - when the pressures and stresses begin to mount, when everything feels like it is spinning out of control, when the only thing you want to do is make it stop, when you think that you can barely hang on - where is the joy? How does one learn to laugh in the dark times, to be thankful in the painful times, to sing when everything around you tells of something different? Filled with joy. This concept is changing the way I live. I spent so many years thinking that I could not find this joy unless life was going the way I planned it. And yet, this joy has come to me because I learned to let go. To dare myself to see the blessing inside of every moment, even the ones that hurt the most. Here is where I am the most tested: will I seek the Grace that this joy comes from, the God who grants it to those who ask? Will I do this every day? Will I do this in the valleys of life when the pain runs deep and the wounds sting hard? Will I be filled with joy? Discovering this joy can be a lifeline to hope when the world around you says the opposite. In the small minutes that make up a day - in the long nights when you seem to be the most alone - can you be grateful? Can you smile when all is going wrong? Can you call it the best day of your life, even if it appears to be the worst? Filled with joy.
How I long to be filled with joy. Filled to the brim with what can sustain me through any season of my life. Daily, I need a heaping dose of it. Daily, I ask for an unending supply.  Daily, I pray for more. Because it always seems to run out so quickly. So many things try to take it away from me. Always. But, the supply is limitless. I know where to get a refill. I know Who gives it in abundance. And I know that being filled with joy - with His joy - is the answer to making it in this uncertain world.