Finding Joy

I have thinking about what it means to have joy. This is probably because it seems of late that I am

Nancy

having a hard time experiencing it. I’m not talking about “happiness” because that is dependent on circumstances. I’m talking about that lightness of spirit that comes from confidence that no matter what, God is in control. So in reality, my question is not “what is it?” but “what keeps me from having it?”.

One joy stealer, I’ve concluded, is an preoccupation with what is wrong rather than continuous observation of what is good. Our continuous  complaining about bad traffic, long lines, poor service, physical ailments, messy relationships and looming/missed deadlines casts a long and dark shadow that blocks out the light of joy. This shadow hinders our ability to see the persistent presence of God even in the minutia of our daily lives. We overlook the small miracles and take for granted that, which if it was taken away, would be sorely missed. What do I mean by this?

A few months ago, I met a lady from my church who called to ask me to visit her. Nancy, had watched our church services on the internet and wanted to meet me. I went to encourage her and ended up being the recipient of the blessing. In spite of a myriad of health problems that kept her home-bound and confined to a bed 24 hours a day, all Nancy did was smile and talk about the goodness of God.  At one point she told me that she doubted if her feet would ever touch the ground again, but she stated it as a matter of reality rather than a lament of sadness. I left feeling better than I had in months.

A couple of days ago, I received an email from Nancy. Along with her note, she included a picture of herself sitting the side of the bed, smiling, of course. She wrote:

Hello Dear Friends!!!! Sitting on side of my bed for the second time in about 9 months. My knee is bending better.  I am working my way back into wheelchair or scooter. “I Know I Can, I Know I Can” I sat up for about an hour and 15 minutes. GOD IS GOOD! ALL THE TIME!

Nancy reminds me that joy grows in the fertile ground of a thankful heart. It is not found in  the perfection of my plan coming together or the absence of adversity, but in the simple realization that whatever God chooses to give me is as good as He is. Thanks for the reminder, Nancy. You are my angel of joy.

7 Comments

7 thoughts on “Finding Joy

  1. Nancy Rejholec

    Thanks Jason!
    Christ in me My Hope of Glory

  2. carol sekula

    Hi Jason, hope you can visit Nancy again
    soon. She blesses us every time we visit… I like what you wrote, so true.
    blessings to you and your family,
    Carol and Bob S.

  3. Connie Bultema

    The joy of the Lord is my strength and we certainly do experience that joy when we focus on God’s faithfulness and provision rather than the annoyances or disappointments of daily life. That attitude of gratitude affects every encounter and is transformational. Nancy is proof of that. Her many stories of God’s faithfulness and provision in her life are amazing faith builders and encouragers to those blessed to know her and count her as a friend.
    This was an interesting site to peruse and I thoroughly enjoyed it and will visit again. Thanks for sharing your wise insights, Jason.

    • …we certainly do experience that joy when we focus on God’s faithfulness and provision rather than the annoyances or disappointments of daily life. That attitude of gratitude affects every encounter and is transformational.

      Well said, Connie. Thanks

  4. Chris Hillesheim

    I’ve known Nancy since 2001 and she continues to bless me as I see her grow in the Lord. She has become a wonderful woman of God as she has learned to press herself up against her strong Father God.

    Chris Hillesheim

  5. Kathy Budde

    I have known Nancy for many years and am constantly blessed by her testimonies and life given to God. I have heard it said that joy is the heart’s comprehension of God. Nancy is living it out daily in her walk with God. I appreciate your message, and your insights. May God bless you richly with more of His wisdom, peace and love.

  6. Michelle Coleman

    Pastor as always, right on time and right in line with the Holy Spirit. I too, over the years have had an interesting time developing the fruit of the spirit of joy. As I have been seeking the Lord lately the scripture that continues to come to mind is to put on a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. I think this may have been one of the Lords irritations with the children of Israel, they would not seem to put on that garment of praise. Instead, the children of israel,(like me at times), put on the garment of murmmering and complaining. Yes they were in the desert but they had been delivered and their destination to the promised land was about a two week trip yet for forty years they wandered, is this because the children of israel refused to cultivate joy and a thankful disposition? I am learning that He really does inhabit the praises of His people, even if we are praising Him when the tears run hot also known as the sacrifice of praise. I am learning that the more I praise the Lord the more not only joy comes in my life but it comes with a companion called peace and for this reason, I shall continue to praise the Lord for indeed He is good and because I have got to get to where He is trying to take me.

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