by Britt Snyder
I think everyone is digging deep for joy these days. The joy disruptors seem to be too numerous to count. I could list the numerous examples for you but honestly, it’s a bit depressing. We are seeing it on a global level. We are seeing it on a national level. We are seeing it on a local level. We are seeing it on the familial level.
For us, it was the 3 year old throwing up 3 hours after arriving on family vacation this week that felt like the straw that broke the camel’s back. And yes, this is a totally different vacation than any others I have written about. We have seriously terrible luck when it comes to sick kids and vacationing. I often refer to them as our dear little petri dishes and they have certainly been living up to the name.
I am not going to sugarcoat it. The disappointment was so so real. There were tears and anger and sadness as we packed everything up and drove our camper two and a half hours back home. We were trading sand buckets and beach towels for our trusty old puke bucket and old towels to mop up the floors.
Life can feel a bit defeating. It is easy to spend our time lamenting the would haves, could haves, should haves. Recently our six year old told me her favorite song is “that one that says I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart.” The song goes on. It goes on to say that joy is “down in my heart to stay.” How fortunate are we as believers to know that true joy does not come from trips to the New Jersey shore. True joy does not come from world peace. True joy does not come from agreement at the political level. True joy does not come from our health. Joy does not come from our circumstances.
True joy comes from our Savior.
Psalm 94 plays out a bit like our current news reel. There are the rebellious. The wicked. Speakers of insolent things. People boasting of themselves. The slaying of the widows and the murdering of the fatherless. It is a picture that seems to be void of joy.
But then comes the end of the chapter. Verses 18 and 19 are where my heart rests when it feels like it is all falling apart. “When I said, ‘My foot is slipping’,your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”
Do you know the One who provides true joy? Is Christ your source of joy in a world that is unstable? Is he your source of joy when health is not guaranteed? Is he your source of joy when all else is stripped away? When our anxiety is great, let us seek the Lord for a joy that transcends life’s circumstances. Because we know what most of the world does not. “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.”