I’ve been writing about contrasts. We often think of contrasts as opposites so far away from each other that they never touch. Instead, contrasts are often so close that the balance of our lives depends on them holding hands, becoming pivotal points of growth. One without the other is just plain impossible.
Saint Catherine of Siena said, “Without war there is no peace”. Truth spoken, at least in a still broken world.
At times, we must wrestle and war for peace internal.
At times, our peace depends on taking down to the ground everything that would keep us from it.
We must DEAL, not deny.
What about joy?
Joy depends on truth and true is at odds with false. So rather than pretend we’re living truth when really we’re just white-washing inner tombs, we need to bring the raw of ourselves to the rough-hewn cross where we will find Jesus, the one who IS joy.
Welcome the wise words from one of the most prominent English Baptist ministers, F.B. Meyer (1847-1929):
“If you want to be strong for life’s work, be sure to keep a glad heart. But, be equally sure to be glad with the joy of the Lord. There is a counterfeit of it in the world, of which we must beware—an outward merry-making, jesting, and mad laughter, which hides an aching and miserable heart . . . Ours must be the joy of the Lord. It begins with the assurance of forgiveness and acceptance in the Beloved. It is nourished in trial and tribulation, which veil outward sources of consolation, and lead us to rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus . . . It lives not in the gifts of God, but in God Himself. It is the fruit of the Spirit, who begets in us love, joy, peace, long-suffering. Get the Lord Himself to fill your soul, and joy will be as natural as the murmur of a brook to its flow.”
In short, fakers need not apply for the position of joy. They won’t get it.
Cut off but one leg of a three-legged stool and you’ll be left with nothing to hold your weight.
Two beams crossed in contrast. A raw-to-the-bone Jesus on a rough-hewn cross showed us how to hang peeled and wounded, waiting for resurrection.
Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5
You have made known to me the path of life; you fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11