Why, hello Joy! What are you doing here stuck between mismatched stacks of dishes?
You seem misplaced.
You’re not where you’re supposed to be—with the other encouragement mugs.
You’re not where I expected you at all.
I thought you’d be at church, in worship songs, in Scripture, in the smile of a friend… If you were there (and you probably were), I failed to notice you…
I was losing hope in you. I was losing hope period.
My faith is being testing. My rough places are being made smooth by a holy refining fire. I didn’t know you were lost to me, but I felt your absence. I ached for you. Yet you were hiding in plain sight. My eyes were blinded by self-pity; I could not see.
I heard you first—in a song on the radio as I drove home from a particularly emotional counseling session. My throat hurt from a mix of dry air and phlegmy crying. I sang along anyway. You started to shine through as the winter sun dried the tears on my cheeks. My spirit was lifted from its scared, anxious, and pitiful prison.
It wasn’t until I opened the cabinet and saw you there—in front of me in black on white that I knew you had been with me all along in the messy, disorganized cabinet of my life (and tangibly in a very real mug in my kitchen cabinet).
Thank you, Joy, for never leaving me, for being present in sorrow, hardships, trials, and tears. You call my attention back to God’s promises. You remind me that there is redemption. Even as the world continues to groan, there is hope that all will be made new.
You are an inescapable work of the Spirit, a manifestation of His presence. You are in all things, for I cannot flee from Your Presence.
Father, thank you for surrounding me with Your Joy and for using a simple mug to show me profound spiritual truths.