If I were to ask you for a quick analysis on how you were feeling, what would you say: Hungry, Happy, Frustrated, Tired, Excited? In the midst of any or all of those responses, are you feeling joy?
It's Christmas time, the "Most Wonderful Time of the Year" (not including when the kids go back to school) and this is a celebration! We exchange gifts and good wishes, we attend parties and eat. And this joy business is a big deal.
"Joy to the World, the Lord has come"
"Oh, Tidings of comfort and Joy"
"Joyful all ye Nations rise, join the triumph of the skies"
"Oh, come all Ye Faithful, joyful and triumphant"
Joy feels like: delight, great pleasure, jubilation, triumph, exultation, rejoicings, happiness, gladness, glee, exhilaration, exuberance, elations, euphoria, bliss, ecstasy, rapture. It's like happy on steroids!
But it seems, like Christmas in Who-ville, It's a little bit more.
Joy is also an noun "you are my joy" and more importantly, a verb or an action, one you can choose. You can make a choice, in the midst of whatever you are in, to be joyful. It can be a solid rock, an anchor and a touchstone.
Dog are very good at expressing Joy. Amelia sure was!
Lulu is downright exuberant when I come home from work. Her whole body wags and sometimes she curls her lip and smiles. Children find joy in all the new discoveries they are having: what ice cream tastes like, Christmas morning, snow.
I have discovered that it's the hopeless who can not seem to find joy. Nothing to hope for and they see no future possibilities for change.
But let me encourage you. There is always Hope. Christmas is a time for miracles and for the impossible to be possible. Grief, hopelessness and shame are heavy burdens that can be carried by another. It's the foundation of our Christmas celebration, the Christ child who came to earth. "Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
I wish you all great Joy this Christmas time, that not only do you feel it, but you receive it. Love and Joy Come to You!