To Have Joy

When I think of joy, I think of bright sunshine and perfect summer days. Sunrises. Dandelions. Golden lanterns. The ability to go anywhere. To have no burden. To have all debts paid. To be forgiven. To be safe to explore, knowing that whatever may happen, I’ll still be safe. To know love, and to be fully known in love. To be free. When I have joy, I am experiencing in my soul these qualities. Add to them whatever good gift God plants in my soul by His grace. To have joy means to have God—in full measure, to have Him all, to experience Him intimately.

The same is true for blue joy. Blue joy is the state of mind you have when you’re in pain. When you’re suffering. When the day has not gone as you wanted or hoped. When you’re in the midst of a terrible loss, a battle, or a war, and cannot breathe. Your soul is shaken and scattered, some part of you dismembered, that you’ll never get back. It’s that part of your story where you’re led from your current pathway into an uncharted one, lost and afraid. You feel alone. Weary. Vulnerable. Crushed. And you realize, amidst the foreign names and the jagged words, that these woods are the perfect place to snag your soul on a crooked fear, and rip it open.

And when it happens, you are caught by God. He holds you. Blue joy is deeper than a feeling when all is well; it’s a state of mind in the midst of pain and suffering. An awareness that even though my life is not working as I want, I still hold the assurance of my salvation, that I am well. Even when I am crushed, I have the assurance that my life is eternal and seated in heaven with Jesus. I am held by Him. He is with me. He holds me fast. He will never leave. He is greater than my suffering. In this dark forest, He’s holding me.

There is blue joy waiting in the bitter cold. In the swamp. The desert. When the sky is howling. When the earth has lost its way back to the sunlight. When all is lost, when I’ve strayed off the path, there is still joy. Because Jesus will never leave me. He endured all loss, all terror, so He can comfort me with His joy. So whether I’m basking in Yellow Joy, or feeling Blue Joy, I take comfort. For God is Author of both. He gives me His joy no matter what circumstance I’m in.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:4-7

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