breath copy 
I see it almost everywhere I go, people holding their breath. They inhale the fumes of exhaustion, despair and pain… straining to hold it in, only to slowly choke the life from their lonely souls.

To them, joy is seems like unaffordable luxury, let alone experienced. They sing a carol or two, hang a stocking, and even toss a few dollars in a red kettle guarded by a poorly dressed Santa, and…nothing changes. This world is tired, its collective seams unraveling the edges of its soul. Its heart is vacant, lifeless and groaning with heavy branches bearing the fruit of sorrow.

All seems lost when you lose hope

Weariness is the wreath that the world tries to hang on me, bargaining with my reason and my faith. Its convincing tones seductive, compelling my spirit to give way… and give up my joy. Then I think…maybe I should.

G. K. Chesterton says this about joy.

“Joy is the gigantic secret of the Christian.”

A definition seems elusive because Joy is untamed…it’s wild; free-range…it can’t be domesticated. It’s not containable…you can’t package or bottle it. This is a secret we must give up and give way to… the times are desperate for it and so are the hearts ready to be rescued by the source of that joy.

There is something in the word joy that excites me like I thought no other three letter word could…it is a powerful truth.

Jesus Owns You

I think Joy comes from knowing who you belong to. Jesus wants to impart joy, His joy into us… by living life through us and reminding us who we belong to. When joy moments come, inhale deeply yes, but then exhale and share the secret… share His love.

Then, a weary world can rejoice…

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13


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Bill (cycleguy) said…
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind people are missing JOY. You pegged it Jay. Sometimes when I am cycling a truck or car will go by belching nasty looking something out its behind. I hold my breath until I clear it or it has dissipated. Leaves me gasping for fresh air. Sort of like the cares of the world.
Jay Cookingham said…
That's a good word picture Bill...thanks!
jasonS said…
Not so popular in our individualistic society, but you are so right! To be His is a beautiful thing and true freedom. It may feel constraining for a time, but always results in greater freedom and greater joy. Good thoughts, Jay! Thank you for the reminder.
Jay Cookingham said…
Absolutely...it's freeing to be more and more...HIS! Thanks bro'!
Michael Kimball said…
Joy is such a reliable barometer of my nearness to the ever-near-me Lord! By nearness, I mean in part my accurate understanding of Him in the moment "now"....

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