Joy in the Storm

Snow storm in the Tumwater Canyon

Joy after a storm

Joy is a blessing of highest order.
Like rays of sunshine warming what ever it touches.
Yet it disappears with the slightest disturbance.
Why is something so good so fragile?
Joy runs at the first hint of trouble.
It is easily hidden by clouds of struggle,
And overwhelmed by the slightest ripple in life.
Joy dies whenever grief rolls in.
Is there a way to hold on to it through all life’s trials?
Once a year we celebrate the joy of Christmas, propping it up with presents.
But the bright packages prove futile against the doldrums of winter.
Maybe the problem is:
We seek the ephemeral joy instead of the eternal.
Settle for a hint of joy rather than push on to the fullness of joy.
Run after a gift instead of the giver.
Worship the created instead of the creator.

In Your presence is fullness of joy.  Psalm 16:11

Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.  Luke 2:10-11

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  John 15:9-11

Alone at Christmas

lonely pine in the Methow Valley, Washington

Cold and alone, but the sun is coming

This time of year (Christmas) many feel terrible loneliness. This season brings that about because we are reminded of past holidays when departed loved ones were present. Also we look around and see others enjoying the company of family and we grieve at our loss. At such times it is good to let your heart and mind dwell upon God’s message to us at Christmas.

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11

Christmas is about Jesus, coming to die for us, so we might live in Him and with Him never to be alone again.

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:20

Unfortunately in the holiday hubbub the message of Christmas becomes cliché and thus tossed aside when we need it most — when we feel lost and alone.