Advent: Surprised by Joy

I have been anticipating the Advent celebration of “JOY” for weeks! Joy has providentially been restored to me in a deep and sustaining way, an answer to an ache and cry of my heart during my low point a few years ago. Touching on this theme both formally and corporately makes more sense to me now than ever before. When in darkness or depression, joy can seem unattainable or lofty or unreachable. If you find yourself in that place, keep praying for the Lord to “restore the joy of your salvation.” I have faith for the restoration of joy in others because it has been restored in me. I have truly been “Surprised by joy!” (see Wordsworth’s poem below).

Surprised by joy—impatient as the Wind
I turned to share the transport—Oh! with whom
But Thee, long buried in the silent Tomb,
That spot which no vicissitude can find?
Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind—
But how could I forget thee?—Through what power,
Even for the least division of an hour,
Have I been so beguiled as to be blind
To my most grievous loss!—That thought’s return
Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore,
Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn,
Knowing my heart’s best treasure was no more;
That neither present time, nor years unborn
Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.

by William Wordsworth
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