Unexpected Joy...

(Our precious girl grieved terribly for several days.  Her sadness is evident in these photos.  
But JOY was just around the bend and we all celebrated together as she discovered it!)

"Sorrow may last for the night, but JOY comes in the morning!"

Have you ever noticed that joy seems to always be found in the most unexpected of places?  Maybe it's because it takes pain and hardship to reveal the true meaning of JOY!

I have been struck in my time with Rebekah this past week and now over a year with Abby in our home, that those with the greatest hardships illuminate JOY in a way that wealthy and "happy" individuals can not.  Even in the midst of the intense grieving in Rebekah's heart at the loss of her foster family- I see joy bubbling beneath the surface.  Sometimes it's as if she can't hold it in!!! 

I am reminded that I look for JOY in all the wrong places!  I try to arrange the circumstances of my life and avoid pain at any cost.  When I do that I forget that JOY is a gift from the Lord to the weak and broken.  Those that can't produce anything remotely like joy in their own strength, discover something that only God can give!  In bolstering myself and trying to control my circumstances I actually take up the room where JOY can move in when more of self is poured out.  Those focused on self are never emptied enough to make room for joy.  When we follow in the footsteps of John the Baptist and declare that we must decrease and Christ must increase, we are finding our way to overwhelming JOY! 

One of the enemies greatest weapons against us as believers is to convince us that the pathway to joy is found anywhere but in the pouring out of ourselves to make more and more room for Him!  As we embrace the hard and costly instead of the comfortable and profitable, we discover that what we longed for all along is found in the midst of our losses.

Less of me...
More of Christ...

Unexpected JOY!

1 comment:

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