my journey – part 22

Joy is a funny thing.

People sometimes think that it’s being happy,
but I know people who are joyous even in a melancholy mood.

People sometimes think it comes from outside of us, that the things that happen to us determine whether or not we have that joy,
but I have seen the greatest joy in people who have no earthly reason to be joyous.

People sometimes think it comes from within us, that somehow we can act our way into having joy, or if we can focus hard enough, we’ll find it,
but I know people who are great actors and can focus very well, but have no joy.

People sometimes think it’s hard to find, that we must search in many obscure places to glean even a small bit of it,
but I know people who seem to find it everywhere they go.

If joy is not from outside of us,
If it is not from within us,
then where does it come from?

I look at people who have the most joy and I am struck with one universal truth:
their joy comes from God.

And when their joy comes from God
It’s not just being happy,
and it’s not hard to find,

for God is everywhere
and in Him is all joy.

Joy is constant. Often, I think, we confuse joy for happiness. Especially in a culture that tells us in so many ways to not be content with what we have, we are prone to think of joy and happiness together in a fleeting sense – we never have enough of what we want.

Nehemiah says, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” I hope my strength is not fleeing. I hope it’s something that I can depend on.

The question, really, is where we find our joy. We store treasure in so many places. We place and mis-place hope daily. Any time we place our hope and trust in something other than the Lord, we are certain to be disappointed. Whether a person, an idea or an object, the only source of true joy and peace is the Lord.

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