11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When I was on my Christmas Eve run between storms last night, I started reflecting on the word-Joy. I’ve heard the word before but most of the time I find it being pretty misused. Joy to most people means happiness, which is a good way to put it. But what if Joy was a person?
Before anything else, what if Joy came down to us in a form so humbly as a baby being offered to us as love. That’s what I believe.
As I kept running, I started thinking about the Christmas Eve service I attended earlier in the day, and Joy of course was the topic heavily centered around. PK at 12 Stone(Pastor Kevin from my home church in GA) said something that resonated deeply within me.
“Joy can’t be taken, it can only be given”. -Kevin Myers
I thought about all the times throughout 2015 that I felt like my Joy had been taken. I thought about times where I had let my “joy”dim down because of broken relationships, disagreements with people I cared about in my life, times when I did wrong or upset someone to the point of maybe taking their joy.
I felt annoyed that my thoughts had brought me there and didn’t want to admit to myself that maybe I wasn’t always operating out of love but rather selfishness at times. I also struggled to face that I had let negative people and situations that hurt me interfere with my joy.
Then I thought about Jesus. Joy in the flesh that came down for us. I realized that no matter what wrong I did or what wrong was done to me, that nothing could ever take my joy.
When I felt alone or without my Joy, it was only being hidden, or dimmed at times when I chose to forget it was right in front of me.
Humans are so imperfect and complicated but that doesn’t matter because we’re given such an incredible gift; so undeserving anyways.
As I finished my run, I felt comforted by the joy revived in my heart, even knowing that I am so imperfect and constantly messing up and trying again and again.
No matter what I did or didn’t do, my Joy is with me always and nothing can take it. No one can take yours either. It’s yours and it’s there to stay!
I literally just pumped myself up writing this. So thinking about 2016 coming up, I know we all have goals and a lot to work on, but how about we put this very important mindset at the top??
And it doesn’t matter what place your at right now, or even if you don’t believe everything I’m talking about that’s okay too.
It takes an intentional effort but placing joy at the center of everything you do will radically change everything in your life. What bad could come of trying..? Exactly. Spread joy even when it hurts to at times and even if you don’t feel like your gaining anything.
Love is at the root of Joy and it’s not a selfish thing. It’s a giving thing. This is a topic for another post, but they go hand in hand.
I’m challenging you to make Joy a priority from now on. It’s not always easy to be a joy to someone, to show them joy, or to receive joy but let’s do the best we can and stop taking the easy rout of neglecting your spirit. Joy paid such a high sacrifice for us and thought we were worth it, just the way we are right now. It’s time to start reflecting that in our own lives and hearts.
Merry Christmas everyone<3