The hot flames of fiery trials and afflictions can sear the life out of us. We feel battered, bruised and burnt. Maybe you’re going through some hard stuff right now and wondering just when it will end, as life causes you to fade and lose your lustre.
Sometimes we forget that we are not alone in the heat of it all. Jesus is in the fire with us. Though He may not always rescue us miraculously, He does promise the protection of His constant presence, the comfort of His peace in the midst of our pain and problems.
How does joy fit into all of this? Surely it’s an unlikely pairing with pain? Yes and no. We feel joyless and so do our circumstances, but we cannot have the continual presence of Jesus without His joy rubbing off on us.
It’s always there, always available. Our task is to see and sense its presence, the way joy waits on the other side of sorrow and sadness, sits with grief and partners us in pain.
Joy isn’t a feeling, it’s a faith thing, a spiritual gift and grace. We don’t have to try to muster up joyful feelings, only snuggle closer to our Saviour. Because He is the repository of every good thing, the anchor for our aching hearts, the balm to calm our storms.
When we’re seeking solace, we need look no further than Jesus. Sure, we do tend to seek it elsewhere, grope for hope in other people and other things, and sometimes they help for a while. But lasting hope and help are found in God, no-one and nothing else.
With singed wings
I want to bypass hard and sharp,
miss the shards of glass piercing me
Only joy can cut a bright path
through dark, press past all our pain
and sit waiting with expectancy
for us to shake off grey dust
and all that clings tenaciously
We rise again with phoenix
of hope – blazing us clean
as we finally find our feet,
climb free with singed wings
There is still beauty to be found in the ashes of these dying back days, the paring away of vitality. God sees that in us too. We are just as precious to God, whether lively or weak, vibrant or dulled by pain. He just holds us all the more tenderly as we lean closer to Him and the safety of His loving embrace.
If anyone would like to share their current challenges, you can do so in the comments below, or message me privately. Bless you for being here, friend.