Comfort and Joy

Bea is very much like her dad – Christmas lasts all year long. After a particularly grating repeat of one CD during July, I laid down the rule that we could read Christmas books any time of the year, but no music until after Thanksgiving!!

Bea "comforting" Elle
Bea “comforting” Elle

One of Bea’s favorite Christmas books is a series of carols illustrated by Tomie dePaola. One of them is God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Whenever Elle is crying in the car and I ask Bea to comfort her, she will say, Shh! Shh! Shh! Comfort and joy, sister! Comfort and joy!

In Bea’s mind, joy means Elle will stop crying. I think for many of us, this is our definition. Joy equals happiness. But, then I am reminded of Psalm 30:5

Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning.

When I’ve had a night of weeping or a season of struggle, the aftermath is never a quick shift. I struggle to go from sadness to happiness in a snap. But, that deep peace and joy? As I’m emerging from a tough season, it’s there – deep rooted and a reminder that, though struggles happen and sadness is part of life, joy is never far.

I’m learning to love this deep joy. This joy that is not happiness but is married to contentedness, to peace, to a deeper understanding that life is made up of so much more than fun, happy moments.

How do you view joy? Can joy and sadness happen simultaneously?

Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing.