Of course. Of course I would choose to do a posting series on the fruit of the Spirit and then land on joy, and feel anything other than joy. Bear with me. I'm gonna try this anyway.
Today is my birthday. I'm 34 years old today. That in itself doesn't bother me. It hasn't been a great day, though. Not a bad day, or anything like that - just a few not-great hiccups. Also, I miss my baby girl. Joy, for me, doesn't exactly roll off my tongue. Not in this season.
Here's where I'm at today. Where David was in Psalm 42. "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, "Where is your God?" These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng."
I remember. I remember those days when I felt like I was so close to "arriving". So close to God. So close to having my spiritual journey all mapped out. So close. I remember my heart being absolutely overflowing beyond full. I remember how I used to go to the house of God with shouts of joy and praise. I remember those days, and oh, how I long for them again.
I want to be back there. I want to be part of who I was before. And maybe I will be. Maybe I'll get there. But how? When I know too much, and when I feel too hurt, how do I get to taste, and even produce, the fruit of joy? Romans 15:13 says "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Trust. Trust, trust, trust. As I trust, not only will I overflow with hope, but all joy. Peace. Power.
I don't know where the rest of you are in your journey. I don't know if you've had a great day, an okay day, or if you're in some of the darkest days of your life. But I do know this: You are not alone. He's waiting to catch you. Fall into his arms. Though the sorrow may last through the night, joy comes in the morning.
When we find our joy, let's be sure to share it. No sense in withholding from others what we've sought so long to obtain.