I often ponder the difference between happiness and joy. My husband is preparing a Sunday School lesson on JOY. He worried that it might be trite or redundant, but I assured him that it would be a wonderful lesson especially as we seek to establish NORMAL with the heartache of recovering from COVID and its aftermath and as we face the horrors of Ukraine.

Happiness is wonderful, and I wish for everyone that happiness touches each person at some time during each day, but JOY is something much more spiritual at its base. It, indeed, is a fruit of the spirit in the Bible.

Happiness, though wonderful, is much more fleeting.

JOY is a stored reservoir in me that makes good moments great and heals me in my depths of despair. The only source of JOY in me appears to come from our Father in Heaven. When all else seems lost, when my heart is broken through troubles, illness, death and the unbelievably cruel events in this world, I draw upon joy in my God-given reservoir. My faithful Lord stored it away in my very soul to guide me, heal me, restore me, and cradle me in those moments that I think I can’t go on!

At seventy-six, I have had my share of disappointments. If I listed them all for a young person, they would probably say I had experienced a very difficult life, but I would tell them about my God-Planted reservoir that is full of the joys, memories, people and experiences that I have had. Even tough times are in that reservoir, because they remind me of my Lord’s faithfulness, of the friends who have shown me the joy inside of them even in their tough times, and the experiences that brought the faces of beloved children of God into my memory. JOY allows us to be BIGGER than anything that can happen to us.

—Nancy Brown

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