Joy waits for us in every circumstance. It is seen by those with hungry hearts and observant eyes, able to view the crumbs and corners of each day from God’s perspective.
We receive daily grace gifts like manna in the wilderness, soul sustenance and supply. Yet we can so easily miss or overlook their appearing, neglect to take note of God’s goodness toward us.
Like a good friend stealing toward us, unnoticed at first, then greeted with delighted enthusiasm, joy also comes to us with sudden softness, appearing unexpectedly to brighten up our days as we welcome it in.
Joy is like a garden plant appearing to spring up overnight because we had somehow missed seeing it while it was growing, but now it stands out as something bright and beautiful, suddenly become a bold feast for the eye and a flag of hope to revive a flagging faith.
Joy often comes without warning, breaking through the bad with a holy contentment, a comforting warm glow within despite the chill of painful circumstances, the dirge of our daily grind.
We are asked to pause, be still and savour its entry, marvel at how joy has the ability to alter our thinking as we keep a conscious reminder of its presence hidden in our midst, hovering on the edge of everything.
The poem below is an attempt to describe the ephemeral nature of joy sometimes. Though we have constant access to it, our situations, thoughts and feelings can cause us to have blind-spots to its presence.
A surprise guest
She slips soft into
like morning rain
dew-fall from heaven
both manna and leaven
Arriving like a surprise guest
expecting a warm welcome
for her sudden appearance
though unglimpsed in the distance
My cold heart remains wary
reacts slow, suspicious
opens its door — hesitant
then leaves it ajar because
I can sense a soul awakening
a life-giving kiss breathing
within as she stirs memories
where hope’s embers linger, now
enlivened by joy-steeped fingers
*Note* – this poem first appeared on my writer friend, Barry Pearman’s ‘Turning the Page’ blog where I was guest posting last year.
Welcome to #day25 of #write31days of journeying into joy
I’m truly thankful you are here as we draw this series to a close! I’d love to hear how are you seeing and sensing joy in your own life. Feel free to chime in with the comments below.
12 thoughts on “when joy arrives like a surprise guest”
I was just thinking this morning about what joy really is. I don’t have to be jumping up and down praising God, but quietly leaning into Jesus with a calm peace in Him and His will. And now I read your post and have to say “Amen” to how you describe it – that “comforting warm glow within despite the chill of painful circumstances.” I love that, Joy. This line also – “a life-giving kiss breathing within as she stirs memories
where hope’s embers linger.” Yes! That’s it! You are so creative with your wording, my friend. 🙂 Blessings and hugs to you!
Trudy, although I have been pondering this topic for a month now, I know it could take a lifetime for me to discover more about joy and how to journey deeper into it! So I was delighted to hear you are thinking seriously about it too. I totally agree with “quietly leaning into Jesus with a calm peace in Him and His will” as a way to achieve joy and rest. There are definitely times for more active praise and worship forms of joy and seasons of a resting disposition in the finished work of Christ. I’m glad my words have helped to focus your thoughts, my friend. God is so creative and He inspires the way we shape our words. He knows I lean toward the poetic! Blessings and hugs to you. xox
Dear Joy, I’m with Trudy, you are so creative with your wording my friend! This thought especially spoke to me today, “My cold heart remains wary reacts slow, suspicious” when I see how quickly my heart lurches back into it’s cold-mode as soon as the weariness covers me. It’s so convicting to realize that, but yet I’m glad that nothing is a surprise to my Lord. He knows just how to “slip soft into my consciousness” and bring those touches of surprising joy. This wrapping-up-week of the 31 Day Challenge feels like the hardest of all to me, but God has certainly found ways to strengthen our hearts through it, hasn’t He? Thank you for your joy-thoughts that have been such a bright spot for me! Hugs and Blessings! xoxo
Dear Bettie, as I mentioned to Trudy re the creative wording — that will be the poet in me, enhanced by pure inspiration! I can strongly identify with the way weariness can fold our hearts into cold-mode. It’s hard to stay cheerful when pain and fatigue are ever-present, never mind remain open to joy’s entrance. Yet God finds a way to slip through our mental and physical barriers, gently inching His love letter into our hands. I’ve also struggled with knowing quite how to end this series. In some ways I have more things to say than days in which to say them in! Deciding on which material to use for the closing posts is my biggest challenge. One thing I do know is this — God hasn’t brought us this far to abandon us at the finish. Inspiration and wisdom will come as we wait on Him. I’ll be praying for you, my friend. You can do this! I look forward to seeing where God will lead you. Hugs and blessings! xoxo
I just have to add, Joy, that it wasn’t until I after I hit “publish” on my post this afternoon, that I realized that God had answered that very thought about “cold” which had struck me so deeply through your words this morning! I am so thankful for the ways that God is weaving all of this together in His own way now. You are a blessing from God.
Bettie, thank you so much for sharing that information with me! I am doubly blessed to hear how God is “weaving all of this together in His own way now.” Our hearts soon become warmed by His presence, seared anew by His goodness and grace! I love how God is speaking to us through one another’s words. Bless you, sweet friend. 💜
Beautiful! THIS: “The poem below is an attempt to describe the ephemeral nature of joy sometimes. Though we have constant access to it, our situations, thoughts and feelings can cause us to have blind-spots to its presence.”
Thank you, Tara! Those things have been true in my own experience, and I am grateful to God for the insights He is giving me. Bless you, friend! xo
“Joy waits for us in every circumstance.” How true this is and how often I forget to open my eyes and heart and look for the joy. This has been a wonderful series, Joy, inspiring me to remember to look for the joy. I loved your poem. Each stanza unfolding and leading us to see the unexpected joy which often does arrive “like a surprise guest!” Also, parts of your post reminded me of this poem I wrote a couple of years ago during Advent. Many blessings to you, dear Joy! xoxo
Joy comes following along
where hope and love have lingered
shining beams of brilliant light
to dance around unhindered.
Joy comes to us in our pain
when all our hopes are failing.
Christ has come, the promised one
for whom we have been waiting.
Joy comes like a bubbling spring
flowing deep beneath the ground,
bursting forth with pure delight
to spread healing all around.
Joy is with us through the night
though burdened with great sorrow,
showing us God’s loving care
for now and each tomorrow.
Gayl, I think it’s because of this thought you have shared: “how often I forget to open my eyes and heart and look for the joy” that God must have inspired me to write this series. He not only knew how little I sought joy in the everyday and how desperately important my need was, He also knew how fellow pilgrims might benefit from having a reminder! I’m sensing it might be made into a book in time to come. Thanks for sharing your beautiful poem! It’s a great description of joy being concealed and revealed to us most in the presence of Jesus. Bless you, dear friend and fellow poet! xoxo 🙂
Joy, I hope it does get made into a book! I’m so glad our paths have crossed. Blessings! xo
Thanks, Gayl, me too on both counts! I’m so glad we have connected and found kindred souls in one another. Bless you, my friend. xo