For the past several years, instead of a list of New Year’s Resolutions, I’ve chosen one word to guide my year. (If you want more information on this concept, look here: )
I was starting to get anxious about my word for 2017. I started thinking and praying about my word for 2017 early in December, but nothing felt right. But the other night as I was laying in bed, watching it snow outside the rented home where all but one of our family was gathered under one roof, it came to me. My word for 2017 is, JOY.
Here’s the thing about joy – it’s a choice. Henri Nouwen says,
Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.
It’s not that I “feel” joyful every minute of every day. I don’t. The kind of joy I’m talking about is not dependent on the circumstances in my life. I’m thinking of it this way; joy is like an underground spring of water. It is constantly present, flowing, nourishing the soil. Occasionally, it bubbles to the surface bringing refreshment from it’s clear, pure, liquid. Joy bubbles to the surface once in a while and we’re all like,
But more often than not, we have to tap into the spring to feel the joy. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. It doesn’t depend on what happens outside, it’s a deep well on the inside. Someone has said, “I find joy in every day, not because life is always good, but because God is.” Joy is closely tied to faith and hope.
You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 1 Peter 1:8 NLT
So, here’s to 2017 – the year of JOY. Here’s to letting joy have it’s full expression when it springs up unexpectedly. Here’s to tapping into the well of joy, when life’s circumstances are less than joyous.