JOY? In a World Like This?

Joy? In a World Like This? You’ve Gotta’ Be Kidding! 

By Sharon Sheppard 

No doubt about it—joy seems like a pretty scarce commodity these days. 

As the political arena heats up, insults fly, tempers flare, and so much of the news is contentious. Add to this scenario issues like poverty, homelessness, global warming, the coronavirus, and so many other concerns, and the picture can look grim. 

Joy seems unattainable. Unless we start looking for it in the right places. 

I’m frequently reminded of the way my Dad began every. Each morning he would look out the window to see what the weather was like. And whether the temperature hovered at 40 degrees below zero or had climbed to a humid 80 degrees above, Dad would daily quote this verse: “This is the day that the Lord has made. I will be glad and rejoice in it.” (Psalm 118:24) 

Recently I was asked the question: “What brings you joy?”: 

I didn’t have to think twice about that one. Virtually every day I sit down at the piano and play. Sometimes it’s just five minutes. Sometimes it’s an hour. My fingers wander over the keyboard as I experiment with chords and different progressions. Sometimes I pull out a hymnal or my old 59 PIANO SOLOS book from college piano lesson days. I love everything from classical music to jazz, and making music lifts my spirits and gives me joy. 

There are many other things that bring me joy, too. Meaningful conversations with dear friends. The beauty and fragrance of flowers. Settling in with a really good book. 

Laughter lightens my heart. I still love hearing my son and daughter laugh when they get together at family gatherings. I love it when my grandsons tease me, because I’m good at giving it right back at them. (I’ve had lots of practice at this, having grown up as the only girl among three brothers.) 

Fortunately, joy doesn’t depend on having all the circumstances of our lives line up in the Favorable column at the same time. Joy is more of an attitude, an act of the will. It’s a habit worth cultivating. Savor the little things in life. And the big things. 

Talking to the God who created the Universe brings awe and a sense of peace and assurance that we can know the One who is in control. 

As we celebrate JOY in this month’s blog remember that”…the JOY of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10) 

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