It weaves through the gray days—the blah-blah, mundane moments.
And it even weaves through the dark. Through indigo grief. Through rusted, worn-out umber seasons. Through thunderous, slate gray periods of anger or bitterness. Through jet black discouragement, heavy-weighted with a sense of hopelessness.
A shock of brilliant joy dances through it all. Woven in and out.
Because, for the Christian, joy has a name.
And he has other names too.
“I am the bread of life” (John 6:35).
“I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).
“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me . . . rivers of living water will flow within them” (John 7:37-38).
“I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25).
“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
We can choose joy in our life when we purposefully cultivate habits of worship, of gratitude, of intimacy with God. But we cannot manufacture joy. It’s more than a feeling or a state of mind.
For the Christian, true joy comes to us in and through the person of Jesus Christ. Christ doesn’t just save us into a future with God; Christ’s salvation saves us now into a joy-full life. In the Bread of Life we find sustenance for our souls. In the Way and the Truth we find direction for our path and the strength to take the next step each day. In the Living Water we can quench our longings and the deepest thirsts of our souls. In the Resurrection, we discover our own resurrection: the new life Christ works within us that defies the darkness. In Christ, our very life, we experience abundant life. Real life. Not just future, heavenly life but full-life-now.
This isn’t an Oprah-branded “live your best life” kind of message. It’s, ironically, a life about giving of yourself and dying to yourself and serving a world you’re learning to see through sacrificial, agape-love eyes. But in this new way of life we find joy in the person of Jesus Christ.
Joy weaves through every moment of our lives because Jesus weaves through every moment in our lives. Never leaving us or forsaking us. Never abandoning us.
Do dark, slate-gray days still feel dark? Yes. But joy is present even then. Even then it lifts us. Encircles us. Sustains us. Draws us up and out and into a brighter vision: The resurrection life.
How do these names and metaphors of Jesus invite you to envision what joy really is? What it means in your life? Beyond happiness or good times, Jesus offers a deeper, sustaining joy simply in and through who he is.
How is this joy weaving through your life today?