8 comments on “The Weight of Rejoicing

  1. When I read your blurb on FB, several thoughts came to mind and then some more after reading your post. On FB you asked how you can find joy in the midst of a world that is falling apart. Here are my first thoughts:

    I find joy in the stories of compassion within the news of disaster. For instance, the story of how Daniel Hernandez, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ intern, is credited with possibly saving her life as well as assisting others. I think you need to look for the good or Spirit and you will see His presence.

    I think that in today’s world we hear about natural disasters and human conflict much more easily and at an extremely accelerated, rapid pace compared to any other time in history. This can feel overwhelming. That’s a time when I think prayer is helpful. Praying for the people involved, the people directly affected, and for myself for what my role should be (or if I am to have a role at all). And again, in the midst of destruction, I look for signs of goodness or the Spirit.

    Throughout my life I have seen that I am a vessel to provide strength and comfort to those close to me in times of hardship, but I have also come to realize that I cannot relieve someone of their own pain and suffering or take on someone else’s burden for them. I rejoice in being able to be what I can for them.

    There are a couple of different ways of looking at the word “rejoice.” I think what comes to mind first is the definition of it as an intransitive verb: “to feel joy or great delight.” But there is also the definition of the transitive verb: “to give joy to” (according to merriam-webster). So perhaps it is not that you need to “feel joy or great delight” with the recent news of the world, but that your role could be “to give joy to” (to whom? to what?) in spite of the weight of the news of the world — or maybe, it’s BECAUSE of these hardships you are called to give joy to _____. Does that make sense?

    Also, I believe the lessons that you have learned are true. Wow, this turned into a lot longer of a post that I anticipated writing! I’d be interested in hearing what you think. Hope you’re enjoying your “ice day.” (I’ll be finishing up those reports I mentioned yesterday . . . . )


    • I left you some thoughts on gchat, but I thought I’d write some out here as well.

      I agree we can look for hope in the midst of dark circumstances. That is what usually gets us through the hard times. During 9/11 it was the unity of Americans that helped us cope with the reality that we had been attacked. During Katrina it was the selfless acts of people who saved their neighbors. There is value in looking for and finding goodness and compassion in the midst of crisis.

      Additionally, I do not want you to think that I expect joy everyday in every circumstance because I think I ‘deserve’ it or anything. I’ve learned from a young age that joy is a choice. And I love giving joy to others, thank you for reminding me of that!

      I guess I’m realizing that this world cannot really bring me joy because it is broken. My anchor for joy, that to which I always look, cannot be something of this world because it will always fail me. It’s a hard lesson, but I’m learning it…slowly.

  2. Those two things you learned hit me between the eyes. I’ve struggled with that many times myself (especially when we’ve walked through multiple miscarriages and I find myself asking God how he can put my wife through that.) But God’s good. There’s a plan. And I just try to take comfort in knowing I’m better off not knowing that plan.

    Good post.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Jason! I hope the bullseye of my lesson was (somewhat) gentle as you read it. I know God is stripping down my assumptions and ‘idols’ so I am left with only Him to look to. I guess I just figured it wouldn’t be within the first 2 weeks of the year!

      The story of Job always comforts me in the ‘I don’t know the plan but I will take comfort in it’. It’s taking a risk, stepping out in trust, and believing God is for you. It’s praising God instead of our circumstances. So hard!

  3. It is difficult to rejoice at times when it seems the world is falling apart. My word this year is proving difficult as well. Much like rejoicing Euharisteo or giving thanks is also hard when I look at the circumstances. I’m constantly reminding myself to slow down and look for the small gifts he sends and to give thanks for it all. Keep rejoicing Stacey. He is faithful.

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