“Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief.” Proverbs 14:13
When life meets crisis there’s rarely a warm welcome. My crises, converging on many fronts has launched into a journey of soul-making I can hardly describe. The torch of significance that flickered what seemed an eternal flame has been snuffed by the breathe from the whispers of God within my core. The beacon that shone brightly throughout each of my identities has been extinguished — the night air is cold, the stars do not twinkle — so I wait.
Life as I knew it was pretty simple — coasting through the harbors the journeys of each day would set sail on new adventures, great discoveries — empty of purpose, laced with secrecy and ultimately hollow and void of meaning. A voluntary departure was hardly considered. But when God calls, it’s a good idea to answer! And so it began . . . a journey of transformation or a journey of continued disobedience. It was time to weave my cocoon — so I wait.
In waiting, the soul-making experience takes on a new form. The change is slow, yet painful. The change encounters loss, yet gain. The change requires surrender, yet control. The change swells with pathos, yet joy — so I wait.
The paradox in waiting is like many of those Christ spoke of during His ministry. Like His call to drink of living water and never thirst again. Like His call to die is to gain. And no different too, is His call to find joy in the midst of sorrow.
Will I ever laugh again? Will I ever see and live the joy He speaks of in the midst of such loss? I suppose I will — so I wait.
Paul worried for the Galatians. He visited and preached the love of Christ and the power of His resurrection and was welcomed as though he were Christ himself — despite his past. Yet, upon return to them, he noticed a considerable change — they lost their joy. They lost the joy in the hope of Christ Jesus!
Lord Jesus, I struggle with what words to say, but I know your joy in me exists! I know that stripped of every mask, every persona, every identity, the only thing that remains is the essence of my being — I am. I am only because You ARE! This is who I am! Living through my loss, my grief and my unfortunate circumstances breeds pathos within me. While I may experience pathos though, help me laugh again through the joy only you bring. May I not laugh for others — but instead live joy — so I wait!
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.