When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy
– Psalm 94:19
The subject of joy is a theme that runs throughout our lives and is a predominant theme of the Bible. Merriam Webster defines joy in this way: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires; the expression or exhibition of such emotion; a state of happiness or felicity; a source or cause of delight. So there are many different ways to think of this word.
We could talk about joy in our family, joy in our work, and joy in the successes that we achieve throughout our lives. For example, we can take joy in knowing that our hard work has helped us succeed in earning a specific degree or attain a specific job position. We could even think of joy in our family with our children, and grandchildren. We can find joy in the successes of others, with our co-workers and friends. There is always that sense of delight (joy!) when we see others happy.
The psalmist looks at joy from a different perspective. He writes that when times are anxious or stressful. and we certainly live in stressful and uncertain days at this time, that we can turn to Christ for consolation. In that consolation and resting in God’s presence, our anxiousness will be taken away and replaced with joy. This Joy not only allows us to celebrate the accomplishments and things of life, but this joy also brings us the strength to accomplish each day what we are called to do.
In the midst of anxiousness and chaos, may we turn to God and ask for his consolation to turn our lives to joy as we care for the patients, residents, families, co-workers and partners in our lives.
Prayer: God of all grace and mercy, we turn to you in uncertain and anxious times, asking Lord for your consolation to replace our anxiousness and thereby granting us the joy that comes from your kingdom into our lives.
Chaplain James Guthrie, D.Min – PruittHealth Hospice Valdosta