Like a child holding onto a bundle of cherry-red helium balloons, I celebrated whenever joy was in my grasp, but also recognized the speed with which it could slip away, deflate, or disappear altogether.
I knew better than to outright refuse joy, yet all too often I was making choices that tugged joy away, settling into a life where joy only made an occasional cameo.
That’s when it occurred to me that how we go about laying hold of joy matters.
Our pursuit of joy doesn’t just affect us, but those closest to us, those we love most.
Such were the beginnings of studying, pursuing, and learning to fight back with joy over the last three years.
In John 15-16, we eavesdrop on a most mysterious conversation, Jesus’ choice, final syllables before his arrest. This is where he blows on the embers of their faith. Moments later the lights go out for all the disciples. The world becomes as dark as night. But Jesus’ words on this fateful eve aren’t just for them, they’re for us.