surprised by joy.

when i least expect it, God infiltrates my wall of defense and reminds me of His goodness.

the beauty of this action is that, in some respects, i should not be surprised. He distinctly reveals His character again and again throughout time, stays true to His covenants, and does not change from who He is; and yet, at the same time, the fact that He cares enough to break through my barriers and loves me enough to remind me in an overwhelming flood is utterly mind blowing.

for me, it’s easy to believe that God is a just God; that He loves us enough to send His only Son so that we may have a hope; and that His power will triumph on that glorious day…but sometimes, i struggle to believe in His goodness. that, in a world filled with broken families, destruction of heart and home, trafficking of humans as if they were less than property, and children starving to their last breath…there is still a God who is good.

He is. He still is. and He reminds me of this through the smallest of things.

i’m reading C.S.Lewis at the moment, his memoir “Surprised by Joy.” i have an unashamed obsession with the wisdom that God has passed through this man — he has written my favorite books, pierced my heart with his journey to faith, and continues to ask the questions that my heart has failed to form into words, but have been longing for the asking. i’m pretty sure Clive and i would have been besties, because i feel everything he writes is a letter from my soul…except he does it so much more profoundly and in a lovely British accent. He writes of his first account of being surprised by joy and God’s goodness — maybe without the realization of what was the source, but still a life altering event.

“the first is itself the memory of the memory…it is difficult to find the words strong enough for the sensation which came over me; Milton’s ‘enormous bliss’ of Eden comes somewhere near it. It was a sensation, of course, of desire; but desire for what? not, certainly, for a biscuit tin filled with moss, nor even for my own past — before i knew what i desired, the desire itself was gone, the whole glimpse of withdrawn, the world turned commonplace again, or only stirred by a longing for the longing that had just ceased. It had taken only a moment of time; and in a certain sense everything else that had ever happened to me was insignificant in comparison…there is a quality of an unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable that any other satisfaction. I call it Joy…i doubt whether anyone who has tasted it would ever, if both were in his power, exchange it for all the pleasures in the world.”

i believe that being surprised by Joy is the business of Christ. that his very being radiates this mystery, this longing, and creates that vacuum that nothing else in my life will fill. when i, in a rare and blessed moment, realize that God is indeed, good — my heart swells and i realize that something else beyond me is infiltrating my being.

these past few weeks have been craY craY. and yet, i have had more moments of Joy — mere glimpses of life beyond this, as if the veil was lifted for a peek, and then settled back into position. i believe that God is in the business of Joy, of blessing, and of Goodness — and these crazy times have only strengthened that belief, not eroded it into bitterness and anger.

i anticipate much more joy on the way. it’s just being willing to look for it, with eyes open, heart wide, and spirit willing.

pura vida.


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