joy! How we long for it in our lives and to infuse it into our writing.
Joy invigorates. It bubbles up from deep inside and brings hope. “What
Joy” is a wonderful worship song I love. It touches my heart because I
long so desperately to give hope to my readers and to lift their
spirits with my writings.
But how can we offer joy? Do we
drum it up, or does it come naturally?
Living on the light side comes
easily to some; others have to work hard to be funny. (Sounds funny,
doesn’t it . . . working hard to be funny?) I’m one of those who came
into the world with an overactive funny bone. Oh, it occasionally gives
me trouble. Life’s woes kick in and my funny bone gets arthritic and
locks up. Whenever that happens, I trip myself on purpose just to
loosen it back up again. (Hey, a girl can go only so long without
From the time I was a little
girl, I was the happy-go-lucky sort. Giggly. Goofy. My mom always
called me a ham because of my overly dramatic style. Not that I minded.
Drama was my thing. And performing comedy on the stage made me
Then I grew up . . . and life
happened. Unfortunately, some of the events of my grown-up life weren’t
funny. In fact, they were pretty tragic. Still, through my faith and my
innate desire to keep on keepin’ on, I managed to keep my smile intact
much of the time.
Let humor lead the way! Be known
as an easygoing person. In my own life, I find that being funny on the
page is easier when I’m truly walking through life with a joyous
attitude. It’s not always easy (and life often intervenes, threatening
to remove any hint of humor), but for those who live a life of faith,
it is possible. “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache
crushes the spirit” (Prov. 15:13 NIV).
Have you ever been so
disappointed, so broken down that you felt you couldn’t go on? Don’t
despair! Even in the hardest of times, it’s possible to have a glad
heart. The body reacts to the spirit, so if you want to keep on keepin’
on, you’d better do a heart check! No doubt, the cheerful expression on
your face is sure to make others ask, “What’s her secret?”
Over the next several months I’m
going to give you tips to infuse your life (and your writings) with
humor. We’ll talk about where joy comes from and examine the role joy
plays in our books.
This month we’re going back to
basics, starting with what will probably be the most obvious, but often
the most overlooked:
TIP ONE: Spend Time in
Joy in His Presence:
“Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy in his dwelling
place” (1 Chron. 16:27 NIV ).
you’re truly wondering where to begin this joy journey, start here, in
God’s presence. After all, you can’t offer your readers what you
yourself don’t have. So run after joy! Head straight into God’s arms to
find it for yourself, then spread the love.
do I go
In Old Testament days only the
high priest could enter the Holy of Holies to spend intimate time with
God; however, when Jesus
died on the cross, the veil in the temple was
torn in two! We now have free access to the Holy of Holies, and Jesus
bids us enter . . . often! He longs to spend time with us in that
place. And, oh, what joy when we enter in! Draw near to the Lord. Allow
His Spirit to fill you daily. Let Him whisper sweet nothings in your
ear and woo you with His love. The Spirit of God is your omforter, your
friend. He fills you to overflowing. Watch the joy flow!
When we spend time with God,
it’s like having an infusion. We’re hooked up to the “joy juice” as it
were—His holy, God-breathed, invigorating life source. Nothing else can
take the place of this. No vitamins are strong enough, no television
show funny enough, no friends kind enough. Only in God’s presence can
we get what we truly need. When we spend time with Him, he replaces our
hurts, our pains, our hopelessness with supernatural joy. It’s
Perhaps you’re familiar with the
old hymn “Joy Unspeakable.” The words still resonate with me today!
have found the
Christ who's all in all;
He is everything to us;
O how blest upon His name to call,
How divine, how glorious!
It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
Full of glory, full of glory;
It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
And the half has never yet been told!
Isn’t this what we long to share
with our readers? It’s not enough to be funny. It’s not enough to say,
“Come and read my book. It’ll make you laugh out loud!” What we truly
long to do is to touch the reader in a deep place and offer a
life-giving joy that will sustain beyond whatever he/she is going
through. And the journey begins as we spend time with Him in the
let all who take
refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your
protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.