Joy-Robber. That is his name. The one who seeks to kill, rob and destroy. He has been fighting hard at our family these past couple of weeks. Trying to steal Joy. This is the season that invokes so much Joy in hearts. It is not surprising he is pulling out all the big guns. Battle after battle after battle. Joy doesn’t surrender. The continued tap tap tapping on my patience and sanity has led to me my knees crying for grace. Things given that I do not deserve. For most of these days, I have needed abundant grace. I have failed in miserable ways. Selfishness, angry outbursts, control-freakish tendencies…its all been rampant around my mind. But there is also a Mercy-Giver, who can look past all of my short comings. All the while Joy still bobs her head above the surface, never sinking. It is the whispers of Joy that keeps me moving on…”keep going, keep going, you got this, you got this.” Many times for me, Joy-Robber comes in the form of a panic attack. My mind completely lost. But I have found a strength amidst the teeth grinding that helps pick me back up again…helps put the pieces back together. I find this strength in Joy of those surrounding me. You see, I have been given so many Joy-Carriers. My husband, my strong tower, who deals ever so gently with my broken pieces and helps me recollect them to take them to the Puzzle Fixer. My Mom and Dad who are always there as relief…taking burdens away so that I can breath and always reminding me who gives air. My in-laws for the selfless help and un-exhaustible patience. For my children who even admist their struggles manage to tug my heart towards Joy- their smiles, their jokes, constant need for me. Finally, (but not least!) my faithful friends. My listening ears. My secret keepers. They are the warm touch of Joy…the balm that soothes the wounds.
There is a need deeper still…that the Joy-Carriers cannot meet. Somehow Joy-Robber still manages to squeeze his way into the cracks of human relationships. Frustrations, mis-communications, annoyances, incessant crying…But there is One who can meet needs. One who Robber cannot touch. It’s wonderful. There is someone far more capable of Joy creating because He is the Joy-Giver. Joy-Robber meet Joy-Giver. And Robber never can win because Giver never stops giving. Take what you may Robber, it will be replaced in full plus more by the Great Giver. Ha.
So this season, in the midst of our hardships, our heart-ship, that is that which makes our hearts go astray in the vast oceans of confusion, let us find the Peace-Giver and the Joy-Giver. For He is the only constant, and always giving. More, more, more than we need. More than the Robber can take. Joy to our hearts, to our bones. Let us rejoice for He has given us a spirit of Joy in the midst of the struggle.
Merry Christmas from The Monroe’s. May you find the Joy-Giver.