Finding Joy: A Reflection and Prayer
Has this year seem filled with one obstacle immediately after the next?
For me, it definitely has been a long and tedious year. I have hit more walls of empty than I would prefer.
A "wall of empty" simply means when you have completely ran out of gas, out of energy, out of umph.
However, instead of stopping in mid track, it can feel as if you've hit a brick wall. And for me and I can imagine some of you reading can resonate with the internal battle that seems as if you are losing more than winning at life.
It is within these moments when I find retreat and comfort in this scripture:
Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
I have tried so hard to have a mindset during this Advent season to fully embrace all of the positive energy of hope, peace, joy and love. My desire was to let the expectation of Christ's coming into this broken world overshadow all of my personal mess and fill me with an overflowing of happiness.
It wasn't until now, that I realized that happiness is not a promise of God.
Happiness can come for a moment. It manifests as a burst of energy from something that happens. It puts a smile on your face. It makes you laugh at a funny joke.
However, happiness fades. It cannot replace the worry, doubt, anger, anxiety, self-judgment, self-pity, fear, pain, loneliness and deep sadness caused by life.
Happiness is not greater than joy.
God's joy fills us with the strength to carry on behind the walls of empty. It gives us the fresh wind to persevere when we feel like we can't go any further. It gives us the ability to focus on a greater source of power that enables us to lean into our difficulties and trust the soul.
It reminds of this promise when we release ourselves into the Divine:
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29
God's joy gives us the much needed rest our soul desires. It renews us from day to day. It helps us journey towards the end of the season.
Joy will bless us without saying a word.
Eternal and Gracious God,
Give us the courage to release to you all that weighs us down.
Help us to stop seeking happiness and to discover joy.
Breathe into our souls the conference needed to thrive.
Allow us to feel your grace as we walk each day.
May we experience the fullness of Your great joy so that we can prepare for your glory.