Joy

Jesus, You are the happiest, most joyful person alive.  I’m amazed that You can be so joyful in a world filled with such suffering.  Your joy is whole, not muted by coping mechanisms to pain.  Your joy is radiant; I see it in sunshine, laughing children, playful puppies, spring bursting with new colors and every genuine smile.  Your joy is resilient. Who else could endure the agony of scourging, crucifixion, hanging naked and bleeding for all to mock and scorn without collapsing inward? In Your agony, sweetness came out — forgiveness, entrusting Your beloved mother to the care of Your beloved John.

Your charge to us to always be joyful does not come from a heart untouched by suffering.  You enter into our sorrows, take on our deepest pains, and from that place call us to joy.  Why joy? Because somehow every single mess will be redeemed.  Why joy? Because everything is an expression of love, a gift from Your loving hand.  Why joy? Because the trials are temporary and the glory is eternal.

So I choose to be joyful today.  I choose to trust that every single thing in my life comes from loving hands.  I choose to thank You for the simple pleasures of my life, not to take for granted the wonderful ordinary.  Most of all, I choose to lift my face, hands and heart to heaven and worship You in joy, even when…especially when darkness and pain surrounds me.  Let joy be my constant as it is Yours. Amen.

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