Where is joy?

Christmas is coming
Christmas is coming

Anyone else running around like a chicken with their head cut off? It is extremely difficult to avoid getting caught up in all the hustle and bustle. I find myself being irritated by all the things that have suddenly plopped onto my “to do” list. Move the elf on the shelf. Pick up teacher gifts. Bake holiday goodies. Shop till you drop. Put up the tree. Hang the Christmas lights.

This season is to be filled with joy. However, I find myself barely keeping up with the pace. The holidays come jam packed with pressure to do and get done. I quickly forget about the reason for the season. What am I choosing to do about it? In the midst of the crazies, will I choose joy?

What has happened to joy?

At times, joy seems artificially manufactured by advertisers and promoters. Buy this and get that. Like seriously, can we really buy joy? Does it come packaged in a bottle? Can I find it on sale?

Matthew 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.

I wonder if we understand the meaning of joy, a feeling evoked from deep within and resting in confidence. True joy doesn’t quickly dissipate because its source comes rooted in hope. The shepherds knew it. They had been waiting for Him to come. As I unwrap our nativity scene and place it in my home, I see joy lying in a manger.

In a recent sermon, my pastor reminded me that Jesus’ life on this earth was not all that great. Afterall, He grew up in a meager existence–the life of a carpenter’s son. He never had much. Never had any toys or the latest and greatest gadget. And then, once His ministry was launched, He never even had a home to call his own. Never held a high falutin job. He never married or had children to carry on his earthly father’s name. He certainly was teased and ridiculed. Why, even his closest friends rejected Him and turned Him away. Alone and abandoned.

And yet, for some reason, we’ve bought into the idea that we are supposed to have everything better than Him, our Lord and our Saviour. We think we should experience a life of ease, comfort and luxury. Our children deserve to be superstars, brainiacs and the next Olympians. We believe we should  have everything we ever wanted. And we dream…We’ll live in a great big house. Be married happily ever after. Have children that rise up and call us Blessed. Be named Time’s Magazine’s “Person of the Year.”

I came across this provoking Scripture yesterday, and I’ll admit it caught me off guard. It reminded me to put the season into perspective, remembering the things of this world will never satisfy.

“Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.” Isaiah 55:2

True joy is not found in a bottle, wrapped under a tree, left by Santa…no, true joy is from our Father above. True joy is the found in Jesus Christ.