Happiness is like the morning dew. It’s sweet and refreshing, yet it quickly evaporates under the scorching heat of grief, betrayal, and devastation. Joy remains after happiness has left the building. Happiness comes for the party. Joy stays to help you clean up the mess. Happiness resides on the mountain top and rarely forsakes its inviting vista to venture into the valley. Joy, however, will travel with you through the valley of the shadow of death and stay there with you no matter what. Joy is rooted in a “some-way-somehow-we’re gonna make it” spirit.
In Douglas Miller’s song, “Joy Unspeakable,” he writes,
When I think of how God
brought me through
and how, how the Lord
changed my life
my soul, my soul is
I’ve got joy, joy, joy,
This unspeakable, deeply rooted, midnight joy is for all of us. It is part of God’s abundant grace toward us. We did not earn it. It is a gift of the Spirit. After tragedy, celebration, anxiety, happiness, or fear, it remains.
This message is excerpted from “Midnight joy” by Angela T. Khabeb in the November 2019 Gather magazine.
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