Can you believe that? That among all the things that happen in our lives, many that seem quite difficult, we are called to JOY. Not “poor me”, or “how can that be happening?”or “I’ll never make it” but JOY.
At this time of preparing for our TD weekends and all the tasks that go with that, it is easy to feel pressured, wonder if we, or others, are doing what should be done. But, that is not what the weekend is about. The Joy that I experienced my first TD weekend still causes me to smile. And, I count on that every year.
Malachi 4:2 (NIV) “ But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.” What a delightful picture of how we are to live and do our work.
As I hear the word JOY, there are a number of songs, especially ones sung by children, that come to mind: “I’ve got the Joy, Joy down in my heart”, “The Joy of the Lord is my strength”
As we prepare for our TD weekends, living with Joy is especially crucial. It is so easy to begin to feel overwhelmed with the tasks and questions but we are called to rejoice. I love the picture created in Zephaniah 3:17 TLB, “You have come to live among us. You have been mighty to save me. You have given me the victory! You rejoice over me with gladness! You love me and don’t accuse me. Is this a choir I hear? No, it is You exulting over me with a happy song.”
Psalms 5:11 TLB “Because I have put my trust in You, You have made me to rejoice. I keep shouting for joy because You defend me. Because I love You, You have filled me with happiness.”
As I began this meditation, I focused on my/our choosing to live with Joy. And that is important, but how exciting to be reminded that God has Joy in us, in our lives.
We cannot do this on our own, not even live our life on our own, let alone prepare for the great TD weekends. But, He will bring wonderful things to pass as we look to Him—let Him work in our lives and bring rejoicing. Whatever your task, do it with JOY.
JOY is a choice. It does not depend on what is going on but what I focus on. JOY can be the oil that lubricates our interactions with each other as well as help our body and mind be healthy. It is a healing tool.
Blessings to you,
Jeanie Hershey, TVTD Spiritual Director