When You Have Forgotten Your Joy

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalm 118:24 ESV

photo: Raye Wortel

photo: Raye Wortel

Have you forgotten your joy?

It’s easy to do as our days breathe in and out.

Maybe you’ve got days that coast along on rolling tides of familiar drudgery, where each one looks like the last. The same to-do’s, the same motions, the same mindsets do their time – filling in the hours until the sun sets and you rise again. Washing … rinsing … repeating.

Maybe you have days filled with an endless, heated angst. An undercurrent of fear, or stress, or hate. You’re weary with the effort it takes to crawl through the hours and can only think to endure – nothing more. You’re chained with few options (none you can really live with anyway), and so you bide your time hoping tomorrow will somehow change itself.

Or maybe your days are a wild torrent with a constant hum of chaos. Numbed responses replace any real thinking, and little-by-little you’re swallowed whole by reactionary living. You do the next thing in response to the last thing, and hope to God slower breathing and wide spaces will come again soon.

And in all the tides and currents and hums of our days, we have forgotten our joy – the joy of the Lord.

Maybe it’s because joy only seems possible when victory or blessings are around. A by-product of the good stuff we experience in life. Yes indeed, joy is sweet when the sun shines, and the road is clear, and all is well.

But what do we do with our mundane, agonizing and chaotic days that seem to far outnumber the good?

Does joy still kick up it’s heals and dance in the shadows of our existence? I believe it does, and if we are willing to look, we just might see how it flourishes despite the condition of our days.

Every morning I wake and thank the Lord for the day ahead. I promise him I will rejoice and be glad in what he has made. But bit-by-bit, minute-by-minute my promise loses it’s worth as I contend with this, and wrestle with that.

By noon, joy looks too “pie-in-the-sky” when held against the realities of my life.

And when the sun sets, I lose trust that joy is possible tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after that.

But what if the best parts of joy aren’t found in our victories? What if real, sustaining joy is simply choosing to rejoice in God for the day he has made. A day he has prepared with his Sovereignty, power, and will. What if joy is a lot like grace – a gift we can choose to accept that has nothing to do with us, our successes, or failures?

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)

That’s it. Rejoice. Have joy. Be glad. Not for what the day holds, but for the One who holds the day.

6 Replies

  1. Diane

    Thank you! Each breath we are given is a gift. That is joy! I love your reminder that in Gods sovereignty there is joy! I delight in the greatness of God on a breezy afternoon and as His love surrounds me in the clamoring crowd too! Good reminder Raye.

    1. Raye Wortel

      You’re welcome! Thank you for your beautiful comment.

  2. Angie Rose

    Amen! And once again thank you for this reminder. God is our joy. Period. ❤️

    1. Raye Wortel

      Indeed he is Angie!

  3. Lori perez

    I’m putting that last saying on a sticky note to have in my kitchen. That one small paragraph says it all Raye thank you for sharing. Amen

    1. Raye Wortel

      That’s a great idea Lori, so glad you liked it.

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