Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Finding Joy

Joy and suffering. One reason we find Joy in suffering, is that Joy and happiness seem the same. So if you are happy and Joyful, you can't tell the difference. When you are suffering, you can't be happy, so what is left is pure Joy. So we find Joy in suffering. The suffering doesn't produce the joy. It simply acts like a refiners fire that burns away the mere dross of happiness.

Realize this isn't a definition of Joy, but simply a description of where you find it, at its purest. The more I try to understand Joy, the more I become aware of its infinite quality. It is an attribute of God. It is some quality of infinity, I dimly perceive as I suffer, and am aware of something so wonderful, words fail completely. I may as well be my pet cat, trying to describe quantum mechanics.

Joy may simply be intimacy with God. Knowing the world/universe makes sense at a level far deeper than language is capable of describing. Of knowing God. Not knowing about Him, but a direct experience of the divine.

Why is Joy important? In the Bible, there are many verses that call us to be joyful. If joy is mere ultimate happiness, then we can find Joy by becoming more and more happy. If Joy is an entirely different category of thing, not mere emotion, but direct connection to the divine, then we need to learn to seek it in a very different way than simply chasing happiness. I can't define Joy, but I know it exists, and seek it in my life.

Heaven may simply be full direct immersion in Joy. Joy so amazing, so wonderful that it is beyond our understanding. As Paul said, "now I see through a glass darkly, but then face to face". I wonder; could we stand full bore Joy. Or would it be too overwhelming for us to endure. Is that why Moses' face glowed as he came down from the mountain? Is God's refining process designed to burn away the dross, leaving us prepared to encounter Joy at its most radiant?

Today has been a day of intimacy with God, yet not an easy day. It started with our washing machine breaking down, and included a $50 parking ticket, as well as meetings with various officials that promised no easy answers, but only the challenge of hard work, and no guarantee of success. Yet this day was one filled with life. Filled with intimacy with God. Knowing He is with me. Knowing His presence. Feeling a touch of true Joy.

While words fail, perhaps this poem gives a faint glimmer of True Joy.

In God’s Presence
When you come
to church,
do you come
to My presence?
Do you hear Me?
Do you feel Me?
Do you see Me?
Do I touch you?

By your acts
praise Me.
Not just by words.
Talk is cheap.
Actions are dear.
Do you love Me?
Know how I care?

Do you know
both awe & intimacy?
Will you give up control?
I won’t give you answer.
I won’t give you certainty.
Trust in Me.
Feel My presence
deep in your heart.
© Presbypoet, January 14, 2001

Do you feel His joyful presence in your heart?


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home