In the book of Joel, the elders are called to tell the story of the locus plague to their children and grandchildren. To share the lessons learned, passing it done from generation to generation. Along with the destruction of their sources of food, the unprecedented event also left them joyless. As the fruit of the land had dried up so had their faith and joy.
Joel 1:12 The grapevine is dried up, and the fig tree is withered; the pomegranate, the date palm, and the apple – all the trees of the orchard – have withered. Indeed, human joy has dried up.
Initially, the vast amount of positive posts and encouraging messaging that have filled the timelines on social media has been a pleasant surprise. Yet, as the days continue to add up to far greater numbers than we could have anticipated, positivity is certainly dwindling. For many, the devastation of the Corona Virus (COVID-19) is leaving destruction not unlike the locus plagues. Their resources are drying up, the future is uncertain, and the joy is dim.
It is times like these that we can easily evaluate where our joy comes from. A dear friend of mine has recently began each of her personal posts with JOY! She and I have not discussed the background leading to this. However, no matter the reasoning, each time I see that word preceding her posts, I already have a smile on my face as I know she is about to share a moment or experience that brings her joy. This view is the type of choice that can make a difference daily. Recognizing things and moments in our lives that bring us joy; choosing joy rather than allowing it to be diminished due to circumstances.
I have thought about the stories we will tell recapping the Quarantine of 2020. Several will detail the tragedy felt across the country and the world. Lives lost due to the virus, others destroyed because of jobs loss, businesses closing, and more. The other stories we can share are the creative ways people celebrated each other during birthday’s, support for seniors not experiencing the special perks and celebrations they have earned and longed for throughout their underclassmen years, signs, smiles and waves outside retirement homes. These are all celebrations and sharing of joy. Choosing joy over despair.
What stories do we want to tell? What lessons are we learning that will not only change who we are and how our lives will be different post-COVID-19 but lessons that can teach generations to come?
Let us wake up each day seeking God’s grace and searching for the joy He has designed for us to experience. Let’s become JOY SEEKERS!