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Advent: Joy to the Word



Friday I was supposed to write a post on Joy for the third week of Advent. But then I was awakened by my daughter just screaming, and I suspected it would not be a joyful day. And then I headed to work, where an unexpectedly busy and somewhat challenging day kept me from writing.
So I thought, I’ll do it when I get home… let me just turn on the TV first. And that’s when I saw nonstop coverage of children having been killed. And writing about joy felt trivial. By 10pm, with my daughter still awake and wailing in her crib (it had been exactly the day I expected), I threw in the towel on joy.
Here’s the thing. I’m a very emotional person. I can cry at the drop of a hat, and I can just as easily begin laughing so hard that I’m crying. I experience a lot of emotions, I feel others’ strongly, and I tend to rely on them to help me understand the world.
So I find joy very difficult to comprehend.
Is it an emotion or something deeper? And how do you express joy when your emotions experience something different?
I realize my Advent posts are taking on a “I-know-nothing-about-this-topic” quality as I reflect on hope, peace, and now joy. But I think it has caused me to reflect more deeply on my desire for the Christ child to come.
I am in need. I cannot manifest joy on my own. I can try to be obedient in rejoicing, even if I don’t feel like it, but I need God to supply joy. I can try to carve out space for quiet, but I need God to supply peace. And I can wait as patiently as my impatient self will allow, but when I find myself discouraged, I need God to supply hope.
There’s something somewhat freeing to me about this realization. I need God. And God has promised to come. This season we celebrate the arrival of the Liberating King in the form of a baby, and we continually await the future coming. I am encouraged knowing that God has no trouble bursting onto the scene and meeting humankind where we are.
Joy to the world, the Lord has come.
How do you experience joy this season?
Photo credit: SSkies

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Next Advent post: Love. 

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