Does Illness Spoil Your Joy Too Often?

joy4Does your illness ruin your joy too frequently? Jackie shares how to find joy in the right place so we aren’t disappointed.

“Though you have not seen Him you love Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8).

Joy determines our attitude. Do we nourish it enough? Do we take time to add to our repertoire of joyful experiences? Happiness happens when we get what we want and when everything is going our way.

Joy, on the other hand isn’t dependent on happiness.

Joy comes from the very depths of who we are–God made us for joy. Joy is that feeling when you are dancing with abandon; when a grandchild sings a solo at school or wins the chess tournament at 7 years old. It’s listening to the song, “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”, and feeling like our heart could just burst as we joyfully adore Him.

The ultimate joy is God–He is our highest joy. He is worthy of a heart filled to overflowing when we contemplate how great He is.

I know from personal experience that when I spend time quietly contemplating what a loving, generous, forgiving Father I have, I just feel like I can’t contain anymore joy.

At that time nothing else seems to matter but God. I am content bathed in this inexpressible joy.

Those of you who see God’s bounty over and over in spite of or because of living with a chronic illness know what it’s like to have your joy depleted in a moment. But you’ve learned where to find it even when it seems so elusive. He will faithfully anoint you once again with the health-giving oils of splendid joy that knows no bounds.

He is the Lord of the dance. I love this old Celtic lyric: “Dance, dance, wherever you may be, I am the Lord of the dance said He, and I lead you all, wherever you may be, and l lead you all in the dance said He.”

Take His hand today and dance with joy overflowing.

Prayer: Abba, You are our highest joy. When we rest in You with attentive contemplation, You so often lift our darkness into a lightness of spirit. May we spend intentional time with Your generous Spirit to cultivate the joy You would abundantly reign down upon us. Amen.

About the author:
Jackie Smith is from Knoxville, TN near the beautiful Smoky Mountains. She struggles with Sjogren’s Disease and migraine headaches. Jackie had a bilateral mastectomy over 25 years ago. A few years ago she had her colon removed, necessitating a permanent ileostomy. She has her master’s degree in Child and Family Services. Between she and her husband of 35 years there are 5 children and 12 grandchildren who provide much joy. Jackie loves sharing through her writing the rich experiences God has lavished upon her.

What are some of your joys today? Share them!

When Jackie mentioned this Celtic song “Lord of the Dance”, it brought me back to my memories of Sunday School class where our leader (also named Jackie) sang this song, strumming at a fast pace on her guitar. I loved it! There aren’t many videos with the lyrics sung, but if you recall this song as a child, you may enjoy this video too. -Lisa

Jackie also mentioned the song “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee.” I hope you enjoy this version with Michael W. Smith. Take a moment to just breath and listen and be filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit. -Lisa