When I was a teenager, I thought joy came with money and fame. I didn’t have either and celebrities sure looked happy in magazines. Of course, there were stories about divorces, substance abuse, and sometimes “off camera” photos where they looked terrible. I could not have been more wrong about the source of joy.
Joy is a gift given to us by God that does not come from our circumstances, but from our posture. Joy comes not from the confidence and security of wealth and fame, but from the weakness and fragility of being human. It is only when we embrace our weakness that the strength of God becomes knowable. And there is our joy!
As Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “discovering more joy does not save us from the inevitability of hardship and heartbreak. In fact, we may cry more easily, but we will laugh more easily too. Perhaps we are just more alive. Yet as we discover more joy, we can face suffering in a way that ennobles rather than embitters. We have hardship without becoming hard. We have heartbreaks without being broken.”