First Thursday - Finding Joy

Today Margaret Simon is hosting Spiritual First Thursday and has offered the topic - finding joy.  I started writing this as soon as the reminder came out from Irene.  I wrote and thought I was all done.  Then I went back and looked at it.  A jumble of thoughts.  A patchwork of words.  I didn't like it.  So I'm starting again.  A REJOICE.

Finding joy is about rejoicing.  You can always find joy once.  But can you do it again?  Can you do it again when you really, really need it?

Imagine you have a cookie.  And when the cookie is gone, are you still happy?  Can you get happy again just by thinking about it?  Or do you have to have another cookie to bring back that state of mind?  Sometimes we feel so close to God the joy is palpable.  Then we distance ourselves, and the joy is diminished.  We need another "cookie".  We need another prayer, a talk, a walk.  You need to keep close to Him and that closeness will bring you the joy you are seeking.

It seems that you can be unhappy and still have joy in your heart.  It makes the times of unhappiness more bearable.  This is a something that, though it can't be seen, others can sense even when you are bearing a terrible load.  They can sense that your load is being carried by someone else along with you.  They can smell those chocolate chip cookies and see the crumbs!  Be ready to answer the questions they ask about finding some of that joy themselves... share your cookies!

Isaiah 12: 2-4
Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.

Once you find joy, it can bolster you and keep you strong through the worst of happenings.  How do you find it?  It is just a matter of remembering and turning to Him when the cookie's been eaten.  Actually, it's a good idea to return BEFORE the cookie is gone.
Joy doesn't need to come in "waves"; it can be a steady stream of rejoicing...a conveyor belt of joy!  Rejoice - Joy again!

Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say Rejoice!  Philippians 4:4

There's nothing better than to have joy again and again!

"Oh, rejoice in the Lord, He makes no mistake;
He knoweth the end of each path that I take;
And when I am tried
and purified,
I shall come forth as gold!"

The worst times don't have to be devoid of joy.  Joy allows you to be tried and still emerge strong.

Here's Ronald Hamilton and the story of how he came to be known at Patch the Pirate, and singing the song "Rejoice in the Lord" that he wrote about his experience (at about 4:13 if you just want the song).

Okay, now I'm tired!  I've rewritten all of this, and I hope it makes sense!  I'm setting this to post at midnight, and I'll read it again in the morning.

Actually I'm probably going to find more joy in reading all the other posts about finding joy more than rereading this one!


  1. Donna, this line stands out: Joy doesn't need to come in "waves"; it can be a steady stream of rejoicing...a conveyor belt of joy! I need to remember that at all times. The other line that stands out is in Ron Hamilton's video: That's God's plan. While reading Violet and your posts, I heard from my daughter-waited all day to hear how the latest sonogram turned out. I am filled with joy. The baby is growing, 6 lbs. 11 oz. now and all is well so far. June 3rd is the due date but she is not sure when she will deliver. Joy washes over me. Thanks for this post and the beautiful song at the end.
    Thank you for sending me your spring poem. What an amazing tree and I enjoyed how you narrated the tree's tale.

  2. Here's to more cookies! And to that steady stream of rejoicing. Thank you, Donna. xo

  3. Ah yes, a steady stream of rejoicing! Such good advice.

  4. I like how your ideas about joy and happiness being independent of each other complement Doraine's. What a fun cookie metaphor. I'm thinking that will stick to me (in a better way than actual chocolate chip cookies :)

  5. I love singing that song, especially with children and sign language. The steady stream of joy is what I strive for. Don't we all. Eat more cookies!

  6. I love this - "Finding joy is about rejoicing." Thanks for your very thoughtful post and the encouragement to share our cookies and the source of our joy. I love the scriptural passages you shared also.


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