Some things are prettier “in person.” Such is the case with the “Joyful Heart” watercolor Christmas card made by my Love Notes friend, Trang K.
Trang’s note mentioned the “joy” postcard I sent at the beginning of 2018, which encouraged family and friends to carry joy with them into the new year, “so it is fitting that I am sending you full circle at the closing of the year.” Instead of a book end, her card is a charge to continue to walk with joy.
It is because of sorrow that we know joy, and so, in truth they are one and the same.
Her words reminded me of a brief journal entry I wrote almost 30 years ago (gasp!) in which I wrestled with James 1:2, 3:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. [NIV]
It’s so hard to cope with hardship–continuous suffering and tribulations that seem never ending. Yet, in Your Word, Lord, we are told to “count it all joy” when we are tested because this testing produces patience and develops and strengthens our faith. Joy, Lord? I can hardly make it through the night. […] But I want to be stronger in faith. Help me to trust You…Help me to accept this “joy” when I’m tired and tried.
Whereas I had questions those many, many moons ago, today I focus on joy as a discipline. I’m learning to practice a steadying joy no matter the circumstance. This does not mean I work on being perpetually happy; it means that when LIFE does its thing, instead of driving myself crazy with worry or lying down in defeat, I rest in God’s presence and stand firm as His strength carries me.
As you navigate 2019, may you walk with joy no matter what…
Happy New Year!
The WordPress bot just informed me that this is my 500th blog post! Another reason to celebrate!