I had lost my joy, it was MIA. Was it really gone, or had I simply misplaced it along with my car keys? Where does one go to find their missing joy? I knew joy wouldn’t be found at my extravagant pity parties that I had been hosting. Nope. Gotta keep looking. The enemy’s lies moved the darkness smothering close into my personal space which made the search even more difficult. But God heard my cries and He was ready to take action. He was going to use an Irish monk and an Irish band to help me find my joy again. Pretty cool!
Joseph Aloysius Marmion was born in Dublin, Ireland on April 1, 1858. He was born into a large and very religious family. From a very early age, Joseph was seemingly “consumed with some kind of inner fire or enthusiasm for the things of God.” *
He entered the seminary at the early age of 16. One day, Joseph learned of the struggle of a poor, elderly woman who was well-known to his family. She had been summoned by a creditor to appear before the magistrate for an unpaid debt. Joseph had been saving his money over time to take a trip that he had promised himself. In his savings was the exact amount of the woman’s debt.
Young Joseph struggled with this dilemma: be generous or enjoy the fruit of his hard-earned savings. His internal struggle lasted throughout the night. In the morning, Joseph gave his savings to the poor woman. He chose to look beyond himself and help someone in need. That is where we find joy; when we step out of the shadow of “self”.
Joy is the echo of God’s life in us. ~ Joseph Aloysius Marmion
Rend Collective is an Irish band who call themselves a “celebration” band. Last night, I enjoyed their foot-stompin, get-on-my-feet worship celebration. It was 2 hours of joy!
“We would rather be defined by joy, fun, freedom and laughter than any genre title or pop-culture label.”
Gareth Gilkeson of Rend Collective
The band performed the song, “The Joy of the Lord is Our Strength”. I knew they played it just for me; God knew I needed a big, loud reminder. He was telling me, “Look, we found your joy together!” I had found my MIA joy when I stepped out of my very large shadow of “self” and into His loving arms. We celebrated with an Irish jig!
The joy of the Lord is my strength. The joy of the Lord is my strength. In the darkness, I’ll dance. In the shadows, I’ll sing. The joy of the Lord is my strength. ~ Rend Collective
Reminder to me: Outside of my shadow of “self” and my daily pity parties is where my joy resides. One day it would be an honor to be remembered as someone who lived her life consumed with some kind of inner fire or enthusiasm for the things of God! Sounds like the definition of a joy-filled life!
Let’s walk worthy!