Advent: Great Joy

I've been waiting for joy.  Patiently searching my heart and my life for a tangible picture of joy or even an overwhelmed heart to tell you about here in these words.

Advent the expectant waiting for the arrival of a noble person and preparation for celebration.

I've been expectantly waiting for joy.  I prepared my heart for it.

Joy came on my cell phone yesterday in the form of a message, of which I cannot share a single detail.  It was a message full of the most beautiful good news interwoven into a story of heartbreak.  It was a message of answered prayers that was so unexpected it took time to sink in what had even happened.

Joy might be the fullest human emotion we can ever experience.  It is complete goodness amid the constant struggles of this human life.

And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’
— Luke 2:10-11 ESV

Joy is a savior laying in a manger as a baby with all the needs of a newborn and a mother recovering from childbirth among the hay and animals.

Joy is an answered prayer that has an answer that looks completely different than you could ever imagine.

Joy is complete surrender to the Lord who knows you because He made you.

Joy is a new liver while retaining the virus that killed the first one.

Joy is never doubting your brother is in Heaven but still missing him here on Earth, wishing His life could have been different.

Joy is when God asks you to do something that requires finances completely out of your means.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
— James 1:2-4 ESV

I am full of joy this Christmas Eve, and just like Jesus's birth, it came unexpectedly from the last places I would have ever imagined.

Let us be thankful that we serve a God that isn't limited to our solutions or imaginations.  Let us enjoy the joy brought to us this day, wherever that joy springs from and however that joy is intertangled with our human condition.