7. Joy will emerge in the struggle.


Joy in loss, in pain, in suffering? Really? I’ve seen joy nudge its way through many a solemn event. School shootings. Nuclear explosions. Car fatalities. Natural disasters. I’ve interviewed hundreds of hurting people around the planet and one thing holds true: joy will emerge in the struggle.

In troubled times, joy and a lightened heart do not rise up instantly. But true joy refuses to disappear when the heart must bend.

A pastor friend going through a rough patch with a family member explained to me a truth he learned in seminary: “If everything is joy then there is no joy.” We need the contrast of difficulty and sorrow to help us fully experience the richness of delight. It may be startling to hear, but adversity actually awakens joy in us.

Perhaps these reflective words by famed poet Robert Louis Stevenson explains how we go from the depths of angst to the heights of elation. “. . . Find out where joy resides, and give it a voice far beyond singing. For to miss the joy is to miss all.”

Looking for joy these days? It’s already here.