The third Sunday of Advent | Joy
Joy catches me by surprise. It fills my soul when I least expect it. Joy comes when it is unanticipated and unsought. It doesn’t respond to my demands. It’s not there when I need it to be. Joy comes when I’m thinking about something else.
Joy is never a lonely visitor; it’s always a tag-along to obedience and trust. It is the twin of astonished gratitude. I find myself bursting with joy when I am set on a project or focused on a plan, when I go about my business serving the Lord. I find myself bursting with joy when I finally believe that Jesus is the Savior He says He is, that my sins are forgiven, that I have been reconciled to God, that His plans for me are important and good.
Joy has many conduits, avenues, blessings. It comes from the Lord through my husband, my family, my friends, and the person I meet at the grocery store. A beautiful day incites joy in me. So does delicious food. Joy awakens me to see what is truly beautiful. Joy is delighting in the Lord, delighting in myself, delighting in others. Joy compels me to bless and to love and to serve. Joy demands that I share the beauty I see with everyone around me.
I can’t control joy. And I can’t contain it. I can’t conjure it up and I can’t tell it to stay quiet. Joy isn’t mine. It doesn’t stick around when I become self-focused. It doesn’t stick around if I try to keep it to myself. Joy is given to me. And joy, joyfully gives.
— Cara Kilheffer, EMM Human Resources administrative assistant