23 | Kingdom Joy
Let yourself be filled with courage as we take a look at those days when we really don't feel like carrying on and running the race set before us.
"And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!" - Luke 1:33
Sometimes the world can be pretty exhausting, a moment can feel like a lifetime and the end of a day can’t come soon enough. Sometimes it’s pretty hard to see this Kingdom of Joy that the bible tells us of.
Some days I want to hide away in my bed and just not deal with life, or even acknowledge its existence and with it all the things that I know will face me as soon as I get up for the day. I know it’s terrible, but I am a big believer that if you ignore something it’ll eventually disappear. If I get a cold, I will deny it until the combination of my stuffed-up nose and my definitely-non-existent cough have rendered me incapable of breathing. Only then, when I can’t even finish a sentence without sounding like I’ve run a marathon and resorting to the use of multiple tissues, might I admit to myself that perhaps I should invest in some medicine and perhaps I should take a bit better care of myself. Even when I finally acknowledge the cold’s presence, I’ll still try and solve it by just simply wearing an extra scarf and adding a vitamin c tablet to my drinks.
But the problem is, as much as it pains me to admit this, problems don’t disappear, even when you’re tucked under the safety of your duvet cover.
So how do you deal with life when things aren’t how you’d like them to be? Where do you turn? What gives you strength? What do you let shape your perspective?
This is an excerpt that I love from chapter 12 of C.S. Lewis’ The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, 'Drinian’s hand shook on the tiller and a line of cold sweat ran down his face. The same idea was occurring to everyone on board. “We shall never get out, never get out,” moaned the rowers. “He’s steering us wrong. We’re going round and round in circles. We shall never get out.” ...Lucy leant her head on the edge of the fighting top and whispered, “Aslan, Aslan, if ever you loved us at all, send us help now.” The darkness did not grow any less, but she began to feel a little—a very, very little—better. “After all, nothing has really happened to us yet,” she thought. “Look!” cried Rynelf’s voice hoarsely from the bows. There was a tiny speck of light ahead, and while they watched a broad beam of light fell from it upon the ship. It did not alter the surrounding darkness, but the whole ship was lit up as if by searchlight… …Lucy looked along the beam and presently saw something in it…at last with a whirring of wings it was right overhead and was an albatross. It circled three times round the mast and then perched for an instant on the crest of the gilded dragon at the prow. It called out in a strong sweet voice what seemed to be words though no one understood them. After that it spread its wings, rose, and began to fly slowly ahead, bearing a little to starboard. Drinian steered after it not doubting that it offered good guidance. But no one except Lucy knew that as it circled the mast it had whispered to her, “Courage, dear heart,” and the voice, she felt sure, was Aslan’s, and with the voice a delicious smell breathed in her face.'
The darkness doesn’t always get lighter, but with Jesus we have light in the midst of darkness.
As we fix our eyes on the light we don’t have time to even see the darkness. In the blackest storm, if you look for it, God will bring and show you joy.
When you go out from the warmth of your bed to face the challenges of the day you don’t have to go out alone.
Don’t deny the existence of the darkness, just look for the light, pause, and find joy as you listen to that voice that says ‘take heart. I have overcome’. (John16:33)
Jess is a second year studying International Relations at Durham University. She did YWAM in New Zealand and lived in Luxembourg for three years. She loves travel, good company and Jesus.