Choosing joy is easier said than done when our life’s journey takes twists and turns as plentiful as the Rocky Mountain road on which Sailor-Man and I are traveling today.
We’ve covered these miles many times in the past 40 years. Today’s trip seems one of the easiest because the weather is more like summer than fall, so the roads are clear and driving is stress-free.
A Real-Life Difficult Journey
It’s much different than the December trip my sister and I took after Dad suffered two major strokes in a matter of weeks. His survival seemed unlikely, so we braved the snow-covered mountain passes in my Geo Metro to say our goodbyes and comfort Mom.
Fortunately, Dad defied the odds and rallied, so we packed our things and began the long trip back to the coast a week later. We were deep in the mountains when we rounded a bend on a particularly slippery section to see a sanding truck approach in the oncoming lane.
Unfortunately, the sand the truck deposited on the road moments before we passed was the size of pea-sized gravel. It hit the road, bounced up, and pummeled my car’s hood and roof, leaving dozens of tiny dents. It broke one headlight and pockmarked the windshield.
That was one of several scary scenarios on the fifteen-hour journey. By the time we reached our destination, my neck was stiff, my back was sore, and my fingernails were embedded in the steering wheel.
How is Choosing Joy Possible?
When life’s journey takes a difficult turn, our emotions want to cry, “Unfair!” or “Why me?” But God’s Word directs us to take a different approach—“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” (James 1:2 NLT)
Choosing joy is easy when our life’s journey is stress-free. Not so much when circumstances leave our fingernails embedded in the steering wheel, right? But here’s the thing: No matter what our journey looks like, we can be certain, and thankful, that we’re not making the trip alone.
As sure as the Rocky Mountain road on which I’m traveling is filled with twists and turns, so goes our life’s journey. Some of those bends in the road bring unexpected delights. Others bring questions and tears, sorrow and sleepless nights. Some produce smiles while others produce knots in our neck. But this we know—no matter where the road leads us, God loves us and journeys with us. Therein lies the reason to choose joy.
Do you have a favorite Bible verse or meaningful quote that helps you choose joy when your journey takes a difficult turn? If so, what is it?
Enjoy “Joy” by New Wine Worship.