This is easier said than done. Do you wonder about joy or are you resigned to living without it? I have been writing this blog for more than five years now. There has been an ebb and flow in my awareness and pursuit of joy, but I believe we are made for joy. Love cultivates joy, and fear kills it. People are intended for full-bodied, shalom-rich, peace-filled soul contentedness/restfulness/joyfulness. Every person is designed for and longs for a deep state of joy.
Each person is unique. We have different ideas of joy and different levels of consciousness, but most can sense the profound tension between the joy we crave and what we experience in this life. Joy is directly related to the balance between love and fear in our lives. To the degree that we can receive love, we will experience joy. If we hold on to fear, we will not be able to hold love/experience joy.
The psyche is a complex, multi-layered structure laced with fear. It can take a long time to uncover and unmask fears masquerading as common sense and self-protection. The understanding we pick up along the way in life becomes the rocky debris on the river floor of the soul. One boulder after another gets deposited on the soft, silt bed. Defenses can pile up and water can run right over them, never touching the bottom.
Our ways, our defenses, and our fears need to be removed and replaced. Living life with joy is an active, ongoing process of removing obstacles and unhealthy patterns. It is a process of spiritual alignment and surrender to the Spirit of God, who gladly removes boulders when asked. Whenever I decide to give God access to my fears, he comes in to that space. The waters come in – gently – loosening the fears and filling the space with his love and life-giving presence. I experience joy in this way. And I keep coming back for his renewal in my heart/life. His love fills and transforms. And there is an inexhaustible supply.