Joy

By Natalie Cist ’19, Junior Chaplain

A Poem:

I feel it — winter passing away.
Barrenness,
Darkness,
& Emptiness I leave behind.
I look. The light is coming. I hope.
stuck in this in-between time,
hoping for the old to pass,
hoping for the light to fill me again,
striving to reach for it, draw it closer
I wait; but still there is nothing.
I don’t feel You.
Slowly a little beam of light appears,
then another and another.
I’m still not quite there;
Perseverance of faith is hard.

Every winter, I find that I let the cold and darkness of the day to seep into my relationship with God. I become cold, and the light that I feel during the summer stops shining. I find it difficult to maintain the joy that I feel during the spring and summer. When the sun is shining and the days are long and the trees are green, it’s easier to praise God and feel joyful.
But true joy is not an emotion. Joy is grace recognized. (I learned this from a Berea speaker a long time ago.) True joy, the kind that doesn’t go away in tough times, true joy comes from recognizing how much God loves us. If we see how broken we are and to what extent God went to bringing us close to Him, if we understand what it means to be forgiven, then we will have God’s everlasting joy in our hearts.

I still have not perfected what this looks like, especially in the winter. But I do know how to embrace the idea that I am forgiven for my brokenness and drawn into God’s presence.