I’m sitting beside Justin’s bed smelling vomit on my clothes and eating cold French fries for dinner. My back hurts from changing clothes, blankets, pull ups.
Even on IV nausea medication, Justin is still not able to keep anything down. But the steroids are making him so hungry, and I don’t have the heart to deny him food.
Over and over again, he leans his head into the basin, coughing and wretching. And I think, “Here we go again.”
So here I am in my barfy clothes and cold fries. Here I am, with my five-year-old son, walking through the fire.
And this is what I think. If I cannot claim joy right here, right now, how can I claim that Jesus is the source of my joy?
I’m not talking about fleeting happiness. A day at the beach kind of thing. I’m talking about a real, steady, sustaining, all-consuming, still-present-in-the-mundane joy.
I can honestly tell you, my joy remains! I’ve read tons of stuff about the power of Jesus giving real joy in the midst of suffering. Seemed kinda crazy, but I believed it.
I am here to tell you, it is true! The claims are real. I am living it. Jesus can and does continue to be your joy even when you are face first in the mud.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Or a book or article. This is the result and reward of faith, a truth breathed out by the Holy Spirit and recorded in Scripture.
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9
Hey, cold fries aren’t too bad. Grace be with you, my friends.