Christians are people of hope. It may be hard to believe but true. We are people of hope, like Annie singing about the sun coming out tomorrow we are looking for that sun. We look forward- the tomb is empty, the Lord is on the move. Joy is ahead of us.
Joy is ahead of us, and yet, sometimes it feels like joy is behind us. If you have suffered a trauma (a death, relationship implosion, personal or professional failure) you know what I am talking about. Sure, you are working through the hurt with healing on the horizon, but is joy still out there?
We feel like joy is in the realm of childhood. Once you have been dragged kicking and screaming from that childhood by trauma, it seems that the Garden of Eden is closed with an angel with flaming sword at the gate. Joy was easy before, laughter was easy before. Now, well, you are grown up and you know better.
We are people of hope, but do we have joy? Will we have joy again? It seems impossible. It is impossible…for us. It is impossible for us because joy is a miracle, and we cannot make miracles.
Joy is a miraculous gift, striking at an unknown time in an unknown place, like a thief or bridegroom. When joy strikes, we are offered the opportunity to take that gift. We can say yes, or we can say no. Surprisingly or not surprisingly, healing travels with joy, and so does great risk.
Joy travels with healing and risk. Joy urges us forward. Joy encourages us to say yes even with the possibility of personal danger and loss looming. Joy is before us, glorious with scars in its hands and feet waiting for the Christian to follow with hope.