My word for the year is JOY...
And, today I choose JOY...
But, today I find it so hard to keep the JOY that I have chosen.
Today my heart hurts because I am hearing of another shooting.
Today I am hearing of a 7-month old dying at his home, while his mother falls asleep with him next to her...in the bath tub!
Today I hear of a musical genius dying on his 79th birthday after being ill for some time.
Today I listen to a documentary about another musical genius, stricken with Alzheimer's disease; performing in his last concert, writing his last song...
Today...I cannot find the JOY, though I want to.
Today, I want to choose JOY;
But, today I just can't do it!
I can't get past the fact that around me there are people who are hungry; or homeless; or out of work; or lonely; or sick; or grieving...
I find it hard to choose JOY when so many are suffering. I keep coming back to that...
How can I be joyful when so many are suffering?
In her Facebook post on April 9th, Ann Voskamp says:
"Yeah, do I hear you - your circumstances and situations aren't easy...I get how you want to desperately change some things. Thing is, sometimes you can't change circumstances - but maybe, you can change how you see.
"And there's ridiculous relief in that: Situations can't make joy - but how we *see* can. We may not be able to *change a situation*...but we can *change how we see*.
"So that's quietly all today: see grace, see good, see God.
"Circumstances don't determine joy - *as much as how you see*.
"And honest, Joy isn't about how much our lives *have* - but how much we *ENJOY our lives* ... how much we *enjoy God.*"
As hard as it is to get past all of the "circumstances and situations", and to actually find something that makes us joyful...
We don't have the ability to change those "circumstances and situations". They are just there, stealing our joy.
But, how we "see" the "circumstances and situations" - if we will "see grace, see good, see God";
How we react to the "circumstances and situations" - if we search for the joy that can still be found in spite of them...
We can find joy; not in overlooking those "circumstances and situations", but in embracing them...
In closing, I share this prayer, found on the Facebook page for Prayers for a Woman's Soul:
"Today, Lord, help me to choose joy. When situations pop up and my joy threatens to evaporate, help me to redirect my thoughts to You and hold on to my joy instead of letting it go. God, Your joy is my strength, and I need it today. Thank you for filling me with Your joy - May I have a holy surplus of joy that splashes onto those around me. In Jesus' name, Amen."
Thank you for joining me in my "weekly" Word Wednesday - though I have skipped a week! May you find your joy in Him!