The Discipline of Joy

February 9, 2011

This week I was hurt. Not the kind of hurt I can talk about on this blog, it involves people I love and things that are not mine to share, but my heart was flat broken. I woke up yesterday morningĀ  with puffy eyes and 4 hours of sleep to the funniest little whisper from God… a verse I hadn’t read or thought of in years.

she can laugh at the days to come. Proverbs 31:25

This woman had her allotted share of suffering just like the rest of us… but she could laugh at the future whatever it held.

It kept ringing in my mind as my command. My choice. After involuntarily crying for most of the day before, to think that joy was mine for the taking… laughter was what He wanted from me, actually made me laugh (and then start crying again. :)

As I searched for more of this call growing in me, I got into James 1 where God calls us to “Count it all joy when we meet trials of various kinds” because all of this suffering is building something, doing something in us and for God. And then He reminds us later in that chapter that it is all leading to a crown of life… it is all leading to heaven.

If my days are few on this planet…. and I believe they are….to suffer- to hurt- to cry- to ache is a very very doable thing.

In fact, if hurting makes me ache for heaven, makes me need God, makes me strong for my few days here, makes me love and empathize with others, makes me less selfish, makes me humble like I should be, then I want to suffer.

And that makes me laugh… because I am asking for trouble…. and longing for my few days here to be more than happy… more than easy. So yesterday I laughed. I laughed that I had cried so much. I laughed that God told me to laugh. I laughed that God is not always easy and comfy.

I laughed when I thought about my coming days with adoption and ministry and life, there is certain to be much more hurt. But I could laugh because I can do anything for a few days… when heaven stretches out in front of me forever.


Today the most lovely blog and person is featuring a guest post of mine… swing over and check out Wendy Miller’s blog Thoughts that Move

But before you do… tell me what God is teaching you about suffering.

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26 Responses to “The Discipline of Joy”

  1. Anitha Abraham

    Love this…such a great reminder & challenge! Looking forward to seeing/hearing you at Catalyst Dallas next week :-).

    • Anitha Abraham

      I just realized that this was an older post of yours! I saw the link so I clicked on it.

  2. I have lurked forever and today I had puffy eyes myself. My niece calls her tears “water in her eyes”. Our family has recently suffered grave news about a family member who is only 34, has 4 beautiful boys, a great husband, and will probably not be with us at the end of this year due to a rare brain cancer. They have given her 6 months if she opts to not take treatments. Our hearts are broken but our hope is secure in Jesus who is still in the healing business. Thank you for this post.

  3. elizabeth giddens

    The Lord promises to restore what the locust have stolen Joel 2 25
    Bring It!
    We will wrap you and your family in prayer!

  4. Beautiful! I love that nothing is wasted in God’s economy – every pain, every tear, every experience good or bad is used for our good and His glory. What an amazing God we serve!

  5. Jennie, I just happened to stumble upon your blog today and it encouraged me. It came to me while reading some of your posts the words of Isaiah, “you will hear a voice behind you saying, this is the way, walk in it” So often it is hard to put one foot in front of the other and continue on in obedience. The enemy so often wants to throw boulders on the path the Lord has prepared for us but our gracious Father will not let your foot be be struck by a stone and His path is perfect.

  6. Jennie, love the laughter verse, and loved that God whispered that to you so you could find release in Him. To cry and laugh at the same time – I’ve done that. It’s one thing to find joy in our own trials… The suffering I find the most difficult to put into perspective is that of my children. I’m going to try laughter! :) love you … And pray the days bring more laughter than tears.

  7. I was over at Wendy’s and had to come by. I was reading that passage in James just a few weeks ago. Loved your tie in with the Proverbs woman. I never thought about it that way. But, choosing “laugh at the days to come” is going to be my new mantra.
    Thanks for a lovely post.