J - O - Y!
Such a tiny little word . . .
but so vast its effects!
Who can describe its presence deep in the heart?
How does one find just the right words to capture its power
as it breaks through circumstances and clouds and darkness
and explodes with life-changing strength?
How can mere words define this priceless, infinite gift of God
that comes from within and has nothing to do with emotions or externals?
Is it like a bottomless river that flows peacefully through the soul?
Or does it bubble up from an ever-flowing spring?
Or is it a gentle whisper that echos these words: "You are not alone" . . .
"Nothing is too hard for me" . . . "I love you"?
Yes, Yes, Yes . . . and it's so much more!
It can't be bought nor earned . . .
neither can it be worked up.
Every heart yielded completely to God can experience it.
Happiness, which is based on what's going on around us,
may come and go,
but real joy can be a constant.
Maybe because its source IS a constant . . .
an abiding Presence . . .
a Friend who'll never abandon us . . .
One who knows us intimately yet loves us with an everlasting love.
And when our hearts get full of stuff
and it seems we've lost our joy,
He's kind enough to remind us that He - the Giver of Joy - is still there -
and that if we'll give the stuff to Him,
we'll find our joy remains.
I may not can adequately explain it,
but I wouldn't trade it for anything in this world!
Songwriter Gloria Gaither said it so well:
Jesus, You're the center of my joy;
All that's good and perfect comes from You.
You're the heart of my contentment,
hope for all I do.
Jesus, You're the center of my joy.