If you join me monthly for my One Word 2021 journey with JOY, you know for a tiny word, it speaks in huge ways! As I pondered my ten month expedition into the uncharted territory of biblical JOY, rich lessons greeted me often from unexpected places. My joy conversations with God moved me from a myopic view of JOY to one of depth, breadth, length and height equal to God’s infinite love for me.
With a mere two months remaining in 2021, my thoughts drift towards continuing the cultivation of JOY in my life. To that end, I pondered two statements posed by our One Word 2021 Group fearless leader, Lisa Burgess:
“I could have more JOY in my life if, I did [this] __________.”
“I could have more JOY in my life if I did not do [this] _________.”
Of course tossing a few pithy words in the blanks suffices for a beginning, but then without the blood, sweat and tears of genuine mental labor, my offering fails in provoking action or in creating interest for my readers.
Instead, join me for a unique perspective on the two sides to the answers which actually occupy those blanks. Read on for both my answers to those blanks as well as God’s answers to those blanks revealed through my JOY conversations with God.
joy Conversations with myself
Last month my joy conversations with others enriched my solitary joy with the JOY of others, illustrating the beauty of one eternal circle from the Source of all Joy through me to others and back again: a full circle of JOY.
Beginning this month meditating on the above statements, considering all my tiny word friend taught me thus far, produced numerous candidates for completing the statements. So in good Amazon wardrobe style, I piled them all up, and tried them on at my leisure.
JOY: one size fits all?
In a word, “NO”. Somehow, attempting various possibilities for having more joy by doing or not doing a particular thing threw me off track initially. Perhaps I fell prey to overthinking, but more likely I simply lost focus in my attempts at reducing JOY to a simple outcome of a specified action.
Stepping back, my thoughts reminded me I had but begun plumbing the depths of this diminutive word in ten months time. Cultivating more “JOY” necessitated keeping my focus fixed on the Source of all JOY.
Viewing JOY in front of a larger mirror I decided on the following accessories for assisting my efforts at surrounding myself with more JOY:
“I could have more JOY in my life if, I rested in God’s Presence”
“I could have more JOY in my life if I did not view the hard places of life negatively”
Joy conversations with god
Ideally, my assignment now completed, cultivating more JOY in my life seems attainable. But the restlessness provoking repeated attempts at trying on “better” candidates pressed me for several days.
Still sensing something was “missing”, in the true style of my JOY conversations with God, I brought these same statements to Him; boldly requesting He fill the blanks. My biggest shock truly came from the fact that He filled blanks; but the magnificence of the answers left me speechless.
“You could have more JOY in your life if, you knew ME more intimately”
“You could have more JOY in your life if you did not resist the suffering I ordain for you.”
he gives more joy
Admittedly, when first sitting with these two statements, it seemed a simple assignment. Perfectly timed near the end of my One Word 2021 journey with JOY, a lovely pause igniting reflection, until I sat awash in the depth of JOY’s treasures.
My restlessness with my own solitary answers reflected an incompleteness apart from God’s answers. My perspective on its own offers but a one dimensional view. But when placed in the hands of the source of all JOY, like a prism, my perspective is refracted and multiplied into a brilliant multi-faceted view of biblical JOY.
Resting in the Presence of God allows my intimacy and knowledge of Him to expand.
Refusing to resist God ordained suffering, receiving it instead with gratitude, removes the negativity previously attached to it.
Nearing the end of my JOY journey, desiring more JOY in my life points me to cultivate a deeper relationship and knowledge of my God; that His JOY might be my JOY. For in so doing; confident, hope-filled trust keeps my heart in every trial, embracing me within the eternal JOY dance of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.