Floyd has had a hard week. He has struggled with his breathing. The doctor thinks it’s because he has a chest cold. He's been on and off oxygen to help him. He is still alert and attentive, but feeling miserable.
He had a sweet visit from a dear friend from England that we've known since our Amsterdam days. He was feeling so bad that it was hard for him to connect with her, but his eyes were still attentive.
In the midst of our unexpected journey there have been good days, not-so-good days, and hard days - even some very hard days. But through it all, lying underneath every kind of day, there has been a deep, deep joy. Sound strange? I guess it is rather unusual.
I'm not talking about a happy-go-lucky kind of joy. It's not light. It's not casual. It's not fleeting. It's deep, profound, and eternal. It's something that only the Lord can give.
"Joy to the world, the Lord has come" - the words of the well known Christmas song. Those words are the reason there can be joy on the journey in spite of pain, sadness, suffering, and sorrow. HE IS OUR JOY! He brings joy. He gives joy. He ministers joy. He pours joy into my hurting heart. He gives joy that gives me strength to face another day. He fills my heart with a sweet joy that reminds me I'm not alone.
Some mornings I wake up, and I don't want to get up. For a moment, I dread facing another day of the sadness and stress. And then I remember who walks beside me.......and I realize I can do it. With His help. It's hard to describe, but it's like a light bulb goes off and I know I can do it because He's with me. He brings joy into my heart when I think I can't keep going.
"When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul." Psalm 94:19
"The hope of the righteous is joy." Proverbs 10:28
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
"You fill me with joy in your presence." Psalm 16:11
"A joyful heart is good medicine." Proverbs 17:22
"Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." Psalm 30:5
"You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound." Psalm 4:7
"You shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace." Isaiah 55:12
"Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!" Psalm 126:5
"Let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy." Psalm 5:11
The Bible is filled with promises of His joy. As we are approaching the season when we give thanks that He has come, we can let Him fill our hearts with fresh joy. His joy will help us get through any kind of day we face. He will give us joy on the journey. Thank you, thank you, Lord, for JOY!