After we positioned the desk in our bedroom it came with high hopes of it becoming a cozy little nook for me to write and study God’s word. This snug little creative and emotional get away morphed into a clutter “catch all” invoking in me no sense of calm or creativity. Simply put, for two years its’ smooth top tempted me to lay unfolded clothes and disheveled stacks of paperwork on its inviting surface. Sad to say I yielded to this temptation repeatedly. Finally, on one particular day I decided it was high time that the desk was returned to its former glory.
Now cleared of its jumbled confusion it was off to the kitchen to fetch some hot tea. The cheery red letter “JOY” mug seemed like the perfect choice to steep my decaffeinated green tea. Plop went the teabag into the steaming hot water while I swirled in tasty agava nectar.
Next on the list was to go about gathering my Bible, devotionals and journal. Though I was able to find both my Bible and devotions rather quickly, my personal journal was nowhere to be found. My joy was now cooling as quickly as my once pipping hot cup of tea. “Where is it Lord ?” I asked needing clear direction and resolve in finding my missing journal.
Still nowhere in sight, trying very hard to savor the moment seated at my newly clutter free desk. Even though I had my bible, devotionals and lukewarm cup of tea, they were not comforting my nagging thoughts that my personal journal was lost. Just about then my husband called on his lunch break, I proceeded to lament my dilemma to him, he suggested perhaps it could have slid underneath the back car seat…just like his Bible had done on Sunday. After we finished our conversion I again headed out to the car this time hoping his suspicions would be correct. Now the weather was a heavy down pour as I began to trudge to our van. While leaning into the side opening numbing cold raindrops doused my lower back where my sweater and pants separated at the waist. Thus, spurring me to purposely lean in further, delving into a deeper more deliberate search. Sure enough right where my husband had suspected was my precious journal. Displaying “FINDING YOUR JOY” boldly on its cover, making me chuckle at its very appropriate and forgotten title. Usually the front cover is hidden, bent back, journal pages open and ready to pour my heart onto.
Immediately my mind thought about joy the way James chapter 1 vs 2–4 writes about. It reads: “Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be people perfectly and fully developed lacking in nothing.”
My idea of joy is not always God’s idea of finding joy. It’s more than a flashy, splash of Joy written on a shiny white mug and everything is going as planned. Rather, it is about being joyful even when your joy mug seems empty and your plans have went awry. Happiness is based on circumstances while JOY is found in the Lord. True joy is experienced and known in our hearts regardless of what our errant notions of it are. Ever so slowly I’m learning the difference, experiencing joy that comes from the Lord and not my happenings. Finding joy when circumstances waver from my picture perfect scenario, trusting in a God whose way is best.
Thank you Jesus your word promises us everlasting joy and gladness shall be upon our heads. Fresh, abounding, overflowing joy from you, our strength and place of refuge. Holy Spirit may our lives be ripe with your love and peace, filling our cup with a continual supply of joy spilling over. Which by the way….sounds like my cup of tea!
Galatians 5:22, 23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law”.