But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;… The Gospel According to Dr. Luke, Chapter 2, verse 10.

Lately finding the joy down in my heart has been a crazy struggle. Like the song says, I’ve got it down in my heart but these days it’s been so deep down I can barely find it. This is the third week in the season of Advent when we study and re-live the first coming of Christ and anticipate his second coming. This is the week that we ponder the Joy of the Lord and of the season. First was Hope, then Peace and now Joy.

I had trouble with Hope and Peace, too. The weight of this world and all the evil, sickness and death have had me hunkering down waiting for the next shoe to drop on my head. The next phone call, email or text about this one’s cancer or that one’s hurting over a job or a child or a parent. It has just about been more than I can bear. And yes friends, God will give us more than we can bear. Because he wants us to be dependent on Him. He won’t give us more than we and He together can bear.

And I know this. Perhaps that is why I’ve taken more time to read about him and look for signs of him this advent season. I’m re-reading The Shack by William Young. It tells of a man who learns to stop judgement and forgive after his young daughter is brutally murdered. Not just forgive but also find joy in his life again.

IMG_1903Then there is Ann Voskamp’s The Greatest Gift not to mention The Wiz. In The Greatest Gift, Ann Voskamp shares a daily walk through the advent season. She says, “this world is a mess and we need a Messiah.” And that “God favors the darkest places so you can see His light the brightest.”

And who knew Dorothy was really searching for God and her eternal home? Well, that’s what it seems like to me, anyway. Glenda, the good witch tells Dorothy that if she believes, within her heart she will know and no one can change the path that she must go. Just believe. Believe that she can go home.

So, this advent let’s just believe. Believe that God sees our hurt and that He is with us in the dark. If we open the eyes of our heart we can see our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. But they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever. God will help us see Him and the Hope, Peace and yes, the Joy of Advent, the coming of our Lord.

Happy Advent friends! May the Joy of the Lord be your strength. Selah…

~ ~ ~

Your Turn:  Have you purposes to find joy in this season?  It’s not too late!  Our Heavenly Father waits patiently for us to seek Him in all that we do.  Share your joy story below. We would love to rejoice with you  ~ Andrea

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