In the deepest darkness, there is an underlying stream which runs steadily out of sight. The believer trods along with confidence knowing it is there - it is moving - it will never end - and that it will nourish and sustain at unknown junctures.
This deep-rooted joy boasts nothing of surface satisfactions and fleeting entertainments, for it flows through deep waters where air is far away and life hangs by a thread. It is often confused and heralded as prize-winning happiness of acquirement.
Could we not all attest to our "happy" moments of getting what we think we should have? A vast misconception pervades our understanding, for joy and happiness are not the same.
Happiness cannot carry us in the darkness. Do we frolick in the meadows in the black of night? Do we run and roam freely when we cannot see the ground? Do we shout out with glee to the unknown wildlife - "I'm right here," without a care?
Happiness exists only in the sunshine, and sunshine is a beautiful, warm place to be! There are no cares in the daylight ~ all is bright and fair.
Enter the darkness. Darkness is not choosy of it's form or thickness. Grief is usually a constant character in the stories lived in the midnight hours... or years.
While happiness can only appear in sunshine (or in the perceived day,) Joy is a never-failing Friend. Joy is with us in the daytime, but never leaves us through the night.
Joy sings loudly and freely when we live the care-free life of the morning songbirds, but forever possesses songs in the night though only heard by God. He is the Giver of song, and therefore, we simply offer them back to Him, even through groanings.
Happiness can count blessings when blessing is blooming all around. Joy finds beauty in a thicket of thorns.
Happiness only exists with all the friends and followers, while Joy needs only One's approval.
Happiness is man's ultimate goal. Joy is our ultimate need.
Happiness and Joy together - what a Heavenly duo! When happy days turn to sorrow, Joy remains still.
In our deepest darkness, some of our greatest joys are found. These joys light up our steps and allow us to help others also in the dark.
• Know the Joy Giver.
• Look for gifts of joy everyday.
• Be a bright spot in the darkness.