In Episode 5, Christa and I talked about the joy that she’s always radiated and that joy is what I want to dig deeper into.
When I met Christa 10 years ago I just knew she was a really fun teenager. We were on a mission trip to Honduras at the time. She and a few other teenagers hit it off with a group of women and teens from my church. She was silly and adorable and I enjoyed being around her. I had not idea what he 18 years on this earth had already delivered to her.
As we mentioned on the pod, we can sometimes see someone else’s joy through pain as a mask, or as a “front” to cover their true feelings. I went though some of the more difficult times in my life confused by this. I am a naturally joyful person. I have to force myself to experience my negative feelings, such as anger or sadness. The older I get and the more spiritually mature I become, the more comfortable I am feeling all the feels. And I’ve realized that there is a balance. You can hold both sorrow and joy at the same time.
That joy in the midst of pain is the JOY OF THE LORD!
That’s what it means. It means that even though this world can really cut you deep, the Lord is the defining factor of our emotional wellness*. The Lord is the salve for our wounds. The Lord provides the hope that produces JOY!
Consider this: if you are holding a cup of tea and somebody bumps into you, what are you going to spill out of your cup? Tea, of course. You can’t spill coffee or juice out of a cup full of tea. So whatever is in you is what is going to spill out of you when life sloshes you around. If you don’t access the joy of the Lord and fill yourself with that, you can’t have it spill out when you’re bumped.
So, yes. We can use happiness to cover our pain. We can wear masks and flash a fake smile to hide our scars. Sometimes you’ve got to just suck it up and have a brave face, but you are who you are no matter the circumstances.
I am so grateful for friend like Christa who can show the unwanted, abused, and broken that there can be pure JOY in their lives!