Where is the Joy?

Welcome back to Five Minute Friday. The general idea is to receive a prompt word and write about it for 5 minutes. No major editing, no fixing things to make the perfect post. It’s about writing.

This week, I left it really raw. It was one of those words that I wanted to overlook, but I stepped up to the challenge to write anyway. What follows is a rough estimation of how my brain works. I like where we finally ended up, but the getting-there was H-A-R-D. Disclaimer: I went way over 5 minutes, but you’ll see why.

This week, the prompt is Joy.


The clock is ticking… The meter’s running… 

And I sit and try to figure out what in the world I could say about joy.

|    |    |    |    |    ← the cursor keeps blinking at me.

The Bible is filled with promises of joy. The 2nd fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace…

But I don’t feel it. Life is hard sometimes and my joy seems to dissipate like morning fog as the sun rises.

Nope. No.

I don’t remember a joyful moment today.

And I wrestle with how that balances with the people who are bubbling over with joy so much of the time.

I remember how, just before Christmas, a friend had a really exciting thing happen in her family. She couldn’t contain her joy (rightfully so!). One day she shouted on Facebook, “JESUS IS SO GOOD!”

At the time I was working through Advent, preparing to greet the Christ-child anew in celebration of his birth. My heart was raw, wounded, and sore. I mulled over her triumphant shout, happy for her, aching for me. It struck me at the time, that while I couldn’t shout in joy that God is good, I could still whisper it in pain. I could sob it in prayer.

Jesus is so good.

God even used that to allow me to encourage a few other people during the Advent season, to shyly show a tiny window of my pain so that someone else’s day would be brightened. There was a quiet joy in that.

Joy God is good

Back to today. A joyless day? God is still so good.

But my heart aches. God is so good.

And today’s problems will still be here tomorrow. He is good.

But I just want to scream out my frustrations! Jesus is so good!


Today is the first day of spring. We’re between the two holidays of Christmas and Easter. The joy at the manger to the joy of the cross. You see that now, right? The sorrow has a bright side. God is so good. He orchestrates everything for good, for His glory.

The joy of today is that even on a hard, exhausting, stressful day, God is so good.



You can read more of this week’s Five Minute Friday posts here – Joy.

I’m linked up with:

Five Minute Friday       

Leave a comment


  1. That you share your vulnerable heart… touches souls and leaves a print… a God-hug… for you and the reader.

    “There was a quiet joy in that”
    says so very much. The beauty of quite joy helps us reflect. In Him.

    Bless you,

  2. hopeful50

     /  March 21, 2014

    I like it when people remove the mask and are just plain honest. It actually brings me joy, and hope and the reality that we all struggle and go through stuff. Whatever, wherever your pain is and comes from I pray the soothing balm of Gilead will wash over you today.

  3. Lovely post. I also had a hard time with this prompt and it took me wrestling with it all night and have the morning before something came to the surface. Pretty sure that means God wanted me to really think about this one! Thanks for the reminder that God is always so good. So so good.

  4. Yep, we were in the same place having to write about joy last night. And this, “It struck me at the time, that while I couldn’t shout in joy that God is good, I could still whisper it in pain. I could sob it in prayer.” Yes. And Yes. I love the way you say that. He is still good even in the midst of our sorrow and pain and even sin. And when we choose to remember that, we choose joy, don’t we? Love your words here. Will return again…xoxo from another FMF Sister.

    • Thanks Meredith! When you favorited my tweet I knew we were in the same spot on this. I’m glad you pushed through as well.

  5. mzkoko78

     /  March 21, 2014

    Thanks for your post. The saying on your photo is what caught my eye and I automatically felt a connection and as I begin to read your post, it became more evident. I struggle with this and often feel bad that I’m not bubbling over as some people, but I do know what brings me joy and those are the opportunities I seek, to teach, inspire, and empower others. Blessings to you dear!

    • God didn’t make everyone bubbly for a reason. What’s that old quote? Still waters run deep. I think that’s right. We can still have joy, we just have to push deeper to get it to show.

  6. Beautiful, Janice. I love your honesty here. And this is so true…”The joy of today is that even on a hard, exhausting, stressful day, God is so good.” I had a rough couple week but each day I knew I could still say, God is so good. And I could find reasons to give Him thanks and find the joy that we find in Him. He is SO good. Much love to you, friend.

  7. “…while I couldn’t shout in joy that God is good, I could still whisper it in pain.”
    This is such beautiful, transparent TRUTH.
    Thanks for sharing your heart (and sound counsel) in such a vulnerable way.

  1. Five Minute Friday: JOY | Writing Canvas

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  • Hi, I'm Janice. I'm part bookworm and part creative. I love both science and music (and the science of music). I'm stumbling around trying to grow closer to God. Click the photo to read more about me.

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