I don’t see rejoicing as merely choosing joy in every situation. I don’t see rejoicing as just raising my hands and praising God. I don’t understand rejoicing to be very surfacey.
It’s deeper than that. While remembering to be joyful is important (heck, it’s even a fruit of the Spirit), sometimes I see that as only addressing what is shown to the outside world instead of focusing on heart issues. Sometimes, not always.
I thought rejoice would be a fun word. A word to exhale in after a year of incredible ups and downs. So, initially when I knew this was to be my word, I couldn’t help but smile…
…until I realized how foolish I was being! Joy and sorrow are closely connected. We cannot know great joy until we have experienced great sorrow. And, as I mentioned before, I often do not have true light in my darkness as I hide behind too-logical justifications. It didn’t take long for the truth to set in: this year is going to be hard and I must rejoice in it all. Because these changes, these patterns I have run deep in my heart, deep in my mind, and they have a tight hold on parts of my identity. Taking a year to expose those parts of my heart AND reconstruct them is going to be more risky than any heart changes I did last year.
After this realization came, I had another: I’m not even concerning myself with my circumstances, my current situation! Yea, this word is already kicking my butt.
And then, I came across this definition of rejoice and am still unsure quite what to do with it. I can assure you, there is no ‘trembling with excitement’ in most areas of my life right now. I’m not doing much ‘shouting exultingly’ right now. I’m not sure I ever have, to be honest. And, I’m not praising loudly enough to raise any eyebrows.
Clearly I have a lot of work to do this year.
Because I see rejoicing encompassing not only risk (which was my word last year) but also trust, vulnerability, faith, hope, perseverance, joy, foolish-to-the-world-ness. And while I alone may not be ready for this, I know God wants me to address this lacking I have in my heart. I hope in a year, I look back on this post and see how much I’ve learned, changed, grown, and reconstructed my view.
How are you doing with your One Word/New Year’s Resolution?