The emergence of joy

When I stop to examine my spirit
I discover that it is not as I thought it was.
As I bend to grasp the dry brittle sponge
I find it is heavy and laden with water.
Not just laden, but saturated.
I had not noticed the Spirit’s gentle soaking;
too busy straining to hear the sound
I did not notice my spirit soak up
the life giving force.
As I scanned the horizon for rain clouds
I failed to notice the tiny stream.
How often Lord, how often do I lament,
cry out in frustration
that I lack what others have
and yet on pausing to examine myself
I discover I have more than I dared dream.
The eternal becoming is true blessing.
The times of suffering in our lives often have a sharp edge to them – there is a clear cause and a distinct before and after. But the emergence of joy is often far more subtle. We don’t really notice that things have changed until something draws our attention. The dry brittle sponge of struggle is actually infused with joy – we just haven’t quite realized it. I think this happens partly because we have a specific idea of how things are supposed to be, or we have become accustomed to our role as sufferer. When things don’t appear in the guise we expect them to, we overlook them. The emergence of joy is no different. It takes us by surprise because it is rarely packaged as we would expect.

Are there places in your life where joy is taking root?

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