Is it possible to have pure joy in the midst of a storm?
"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
I have a thing for analogies. They help me understand things better. Lately, my life has revolved around coffee. Pour overs to be specific. In the coffee world, ordering a pour over simply means requesting a cup of coffee that is custom brewed (just for you). This brewing method takes more time, but releases more distinction in flavor; usually on the sweet side. Recently, it has become my preferred way to have coffee. (Will all my true coffee-connoisseurs please rise).
Anyway, considering pour overs has me thinking about what else has been pouring in my life right now. (That’s one thing you’ll learn about me - I can get deep about the simplest things).
Today, it was pouring rain. Like, legitimate storm. And of course, I went out on an adventure in the storm with one of my best friends. I guess you could say I like the kind of excitement that comes with adventures in the pouring rain.
Lately, that’s the kind of joy I’ve found; pure joy in the midst of a storm. (And yes, it’s been quite a storm in my world.)
But, how can that be? If joy is a feeling of great pleasure, how can I have this in a season of seemingly unending trials?
It's been a little over three years since I've entered into a coveted relationship with my first love, Jesus. Every year and every season I fall just a little deeper in love. What has kept me in a joyful place in the midst of my storms, is simple. Jesus.
Every morning I seek Him and He gives me a scripture to meditate on throughout the day. As you read above, today's scripture is Romans 15:13. In our current world, it can be easy to lose sight of our dreams and let go of hope. Even as a follower of Christ, I don't get it any easier. But what I do get, is Jesus who strengthens me to do all things. In this season, His spirit of joy has strengthened me every single day (Nehemiah 8:10).
Because of His love, something quite fascinating has happened. I have learned the true meaning of dancing in the rain. His love has brought me joy. This kind of love brings laughter in the midst of heartbreak and smiles in the pouring rain. This kind of love is pure joy.
No wonder I have fallen so deep in love this season. (With Jesus.)
As our adventurous day comes to an end, we find ourselves in a coffee shop. Two pour overs, of course. Drawing in the first sip, my dear friend asks, ”how can I pray for you?"
Coincidently, or not, we are enduring similar seasons of waiting for God's direction in our lives (vocationally, mainly). If you have never experienced this before, it can be one of the most frustrating seasons ever. The longer the wait, the higher the frustration levels rise. As we exchanged prayer requests, we found ourselves in an interesting discussion of turning our prayers from "God, show me the direction I should I go" to "God, what are you showing me while I'm here waiting for you?"
It's the simple, yet surprisingly profound understanding of praying from a place of joy. Sometimes when God isn't doing something we are asking for, He may want us to just be, right where we are. Just be. This doesn't mean be frustrated or unhappy. But, what I hear God say in this place is "right now, just live in my joy.” Wow. My Jesus has taken me to a new level of understanding what joy means.
As we head back to the car, it’s currently still a downpour. But I don't care. I just consumed a fresh pour over of joy; brewed directly from heaven.
What does joy mean to you and how have you experienced it? Comment and enjoy the rest of today's adventures in these lovely images below.