Consider it pure JOY

Savannah Joy Hensler.  It look Lori and I weeks and weeks to get a common list of names that we liked.  She liked some that I didn’t and vice versa.  Plus with Lori being a teacher, there were several good names that were just ruined.  It wasn’t until recently that we finally agreed on Savannah Joy.  We actually had another name that we were leaning towards, but it all changed when we learned of her heart condition.  While the name “Savannah” is simply of spanish origin meaning “from the open plain,” her middle name is what solidified this choice in our minds.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 (NIV)

Honestly, I’ve never really thought that much about joy.  I mean it is the second fruit of the spirit after all, but what does it spiritually mean?  Joy?  The dictionary offers a few ideas: 1 the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires, 2 a state of happiness or felicity, 3 a source or cause of delight.  But if it’s all about “happiness” and “what one desires,” I think we’re really missing the mark.

While I’m happy that we’re expecting our little “bundle of joy,” I’m not exactly happy with this situation.  Frankly, this is awful.  I wouldn’t wish this on anyone!  If it’s about what I desire, I don’t desire this at all.  I want her so badly to just be fixed with no “defects” or problems.  But if I dwell on all the problems, the “what ifs” will eat me alive.  While it’s almost comforting to sit and waller in your own pity, it’s toxic.

I believe that joy supersedes a carnal happiness and is much more about a spiritual peace.  One definition I read said that joy was merely the happy state from knowing and serving God.  The result may be a kind of happy emotion, but the foundation is in the Lord.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!  Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)

It’s certainly not easy, but we’re working everyday to consider each trial pure joy.  Pure joy that we get by standing on the promises of God.  Pure joy that we’ll be reminded of each time we see her, hold her, and say her name, “Savannah Joy!”

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