Just outside my window the sky is a delicate winter blue. The sun is shining on the bark of my dogwood tree, clean like a memory of Springtime. The wind is tapping in gentle gusts.
All of this is reminding me, of joy.
People talk about the difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is connected to our experiences, they say. Happiness is given to those with healthy minds and bodies and bank accounts. Happiness is fleeting.
But joy, they say, that runs deeper and apart from circumstance. Christians are supposed to grow in joy. Jesus is the light of the world. He is the God of all comfort and He loves us.
So many sorrows everywhere, and such large unfixable problems. A lot of mistakes and letting go of dreams. Work and work avoidance. I could focus on these things and lose sight.
But looking out my window today, I remembered Springtime.
‘Thou must joy’, we are told. ‘Joy in the midst of sorrow…’ This is spiritual maturity. This is the job of joy.
And yet, today, I feel it stealing in, like a fragrance of flower petals tinged with a glint of sunshine. I understand something I never realized before.
Joy isn’t old, it’s young. It isn’t in the winter of our lives that we finally figure out how to earn it. We, like little children, pass off our problems to God and dance and sing and find peace. Because God is so nifty and circular and all-inclusive. Old, young and everywhere in between. Winter and Springtime and right now.
I love Jesus, my dearest friend, and God the Father, who takes care of me.