“…the joy of the Lord is my strength.”
Its a tactic. The upper hand. When we pray, maybe instead of praying for strength we pray for a fruit of the Spirit He tells us is the weapon we need wield. Maybe its joy, His deep, fulfilling, purest joy that fits the mold best. Maybe, joy & strength are one in the same.
Beautiful, deep, complete.
In my mind when I think of joy, I imagine Julie Andrews spinning, arms wide, song as sweet as a bird, smiling from ear to ear. And I know what I’m about to say will probably not sit well with the feminists, but when I imagine joy I tend to link it with a feminine, nurturing, motherly feel. I honestly have no idea why. Maybe its just me. But then I think of strength & immediately think of a buff, super masculine Tarzan kind of man doing chin ups with one arm.
So, that’s ironic. Ironic that God would say that His joy is our strength.
Again, maybe this part is just me.
But joy is not prissy. Not feminine. Not something reserved for the goody two shoes. Not reserved for the super Christians who have all the answers & don’t associate with the sinners.
Have we thought any differently? Have we ever questioned joy any deeper than a good feeling God likes us to have?
Joy is a weapon.
Joy is as fierce as a cuss word.
Joy is as feisty as the first punch.
Joy transitions our minds to sit with the Almighty instead of what trips us up & thrives off emotions.
The joy of the Lord is our strength.
In all circumstances, joy is never uncalled for.
Joy is never out of line.
You know those fancily written quotes all over Pinterest (& all other social media, thanks to Pinterest)? You know the one that says “choose joy”? I’ve always thought of it more along the lines of “choose to let it go”, while I think it may be more accurate to think of it along the lines of “choose strength”. Choose to hear their hurtful words & love them anyway. Choose to let them ‘shut you down’, & walk away knowing you’re intelligent & strong & worthy anyway. Choose to cry over it & invite joy to hold the tissues. That’s the kind of weapon I want. That’s the feistiest thing I’ve ever heard. The strongest. To watch the world throwing its tantrum your way & keep your joy anyway.