the day my joy expired

I don’t know about y’all, but I think the struggle to keep our joy alive is one of the hardest wars we have to wage as followers of Christ. it’s a new battle I have found myself fighting over the course of the past couple of weeks and I’m in a season where I know painfully well just how hard it is. the struggle is uncomfortably real.

life is so full of peaks and valleys.. and we all know just how effortless joy is when we’re feeling on top of the world and how easy it is to excuse ourselves from holding fast to our joy when we’re tired and busy and just honestly not feeling it. here’s the danger in not fighting for our joy every single day though: after a while it just expires. it flickers out. and when it’s gone it’s gone and you have to replant it all over again. and the replanting process has never been one that I find myself desiring to undergo again and again.

so I’m writing this for the sake of hopefully saving someone’s joy. I have such a deep adoration for whoever reads what the Lord chooses to say through me on this site.. and I want you to know that I love you enough to tell you to hold fast to your joy. don’t let it burn out. tend to it. replenish it. be aware of it daily.

I’m convinced that satan’s foothold in our lives get’s stronger with every day that we forget to check on our joy. his success rate is probably highest in this area simply because our joy withers as a direct result of our own laziness and continuous neglect and that can be a sobering warning if we allow it to be.

I am in control of whether or not he gains footholds. you are too.

and with that control comes a responsibility to water our joy every single day. with that control comes the conscious choice to make quiet times a priority or just go to bed. a responsibility to give it everything it needs to thrive and in turn become a hope that is a light in a world growing darker and darker every day. and I wish it was easy, but the important stuff never is.

so we push forward. we strive to love others well, and we do it because the love lavished on us by our Savior is so great. we keep a picture of who it is that we long to become at the forefront of our minds and we pray for the strength to become them and the grace we will undoubtedly need throughout the process that will take all of the days, weeks, months, and years that we get.

there’s more to this life. there’s a joy that’s waiting to be tapped into – a living spring. His name is Jesus – and when we start walking beside Him, like Him, He shares a joy with us that words honestly can’t describe. a joy that becomes more and more deeply rooted every time we come away with Him and partake in it.

one of the truest things I have ever been told is that it’s impossible to walk away from time spent in communion with Him empty-handed – but we have to come to Him open-handed, palms up. there’s just no room for clenched fists in the presence of the Lord.

the easier choice to make would undoubtedly be to neglect so great a salvation, so great a joy.

and it would undoubtedly be the gravest mistake.

so if you’re like me – toting around a joy that expired months ago – let’s stop with that silliness. that empty way of living stops here. let’s move forward into places full of hope. places bursting at the seams with the sincerest desire to love on every soul that we meet. places where our joy is so sweet that we itch for opportunities to share it.

places where our joy is strong and sure enough to permeate every word, every action, every day.

“restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”

psalm 51:12