Last week we watched in horror as tens of thousands of Colorado Springs residents were forced from their homes by a raging wildfire. More than 30,000 evacuees packed up their belongings and fled to the homes of family, friends, to hotels and shelters as U.S. Army troops helped firefighters battle the inferno.
Many residents fled so quickly they were unable to take even a change of clothing. Peggy, a photographer for an international mission organization, was forced to leave all of her camera equipment and files to escape the flames.
As Christians, how do we find perspective in such devastating grief? Where do we turn when we face adversity?
God never promises us an easy life, but He does promise joy in our times of pain. Joy means that we emphatically trust God and believe that He has great plans for our lives, in spite of what we see happening in front of us and around us. Joy is not limited by our sight. It outdistances our vision. It’s a deeply entrenched, unshakable belief, the result of sustained right thinking and dwelling on the nature and character of God. Joy is an outward sign of inward faith in the promises of God.
Joy is not a distant destination at which we arrive; rather, it’s a path we choose to travel each day.
Does being joy-filled deny the reality of our pain or the freedom to feel our God-given emotions in the face of sorrow? No. But joy draws us back to the center of our purpose and our being – the confidence that God loves us and is with us.
Even in the fire.