The Joy of Summer

Ah. The joy of summer.

The fireworks were fun, and I remembered how hard it might be for veterans, gun violence victims, and dogs. What does it mean to enjoy things that are hard for others to endure?

It’s vacation time. I confess being one of those who has to check myself when I start to become jealous of my friends travel pictures on social media. What does it mean to envy others’ joy?

Life is so full over the summer break from work and school routines. It seems light, more carefree, especially when you hear the voices of children playing in the yard. What does it mean to smile when others are enduring their first summer without someone they love, enduring a death or divorce or breakup, that has shattered their care-free serenity?

Perhaps we enjoy an overflowing meal cooked on the grill and abounding in laughter with friends, while in the very back of our minds we hear the cries of children who have no lunch or breakfast when school is out.

Everyday is full of contrasts like these.

How are Christians meant to reconcile these truths with our faith in a benevolent God? One whom we claim as a personal Creator who knows even the number of hairs on our heads? One who declares we are worth much more than the birds in the air and flowers in the fields?

The only answer any one of us can give comes from our own experience of divine love and goodness. I do not know how God might bring love and goodness to someone who is suffering. I can only know how God met me in my own. I then have two helpful options (at least). I can be the bringer of hope as God has been for me, or I can empathize and share the moments of hopelessness to dispel the loneliness felt in God’s apparent absence.

A Contrast Embodied

Imagine that you are God’s contrasting evidence to the belief that life is nothing but fleeting moments of captured joy and selfishly-retrieved prosperity. You are the evidence, in this amazing world you inhabit, that there is a God who loves and cares for others. You may never know who tells the story of your kindness and declares, “that was the day I knew God had not left me alone.”

So, whatever today may bring, let this be a day the Lord has made! Rejoice and be glad in it!


Our Joy Continues

January 5, 2023

Today is going to be a great day! And so will tomorrow. And the day after…. Some of this greatness will happen to you. Rejoice!

Nothing of note is going to happen today. Or tomorrow. Or the day after…. Just routine, this is how it goes. Rejoice anyway!

Terrible things are going to happen today. And tomorrow. And the day after…. Some of them will happen to you. Rejoice anyway!
Life Happens!

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Phil 4: 4

In everything, we are called to find joy in our relationship with God. In this way, knowing that we are never separated from God’s love and presence, we can find a peace that sustains us through the highs and lows of life’s journey. Read more…