The joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)
The other day, I noticed a beautiful, bright pink flower lying on the ground. I picked it up and held it in the palm of my hand. Its beauty lifted my spirit and brought joy to my heart. What many fail to realize is that joy is very much a choice. Despite what’s going on in our lives, we can always choose to find things to be grateful for. In gratitude, we can know joy.
“A flower blooms for its own joy.” (Oscar Wilde)
The flower—it doesn’t bloom for you or for me. No, the flower blooms for its own joy. It blooms because blooming is a part of its God-given nature. Revealing our own inner beauty is a part of our God-given nature as human beings as well. It’s in blooming—expressing the beauty we hold inside of us—we can know joy.
Flowers bloom. Stars shine. Birds sing. Trees grow tall and point to the heavens. Have you ever noticed how creation itself worships the Creator just by being what it’s supposed to be? In living out our purpose, we too will point towards the Creator, God, and know joy.
The flower doesn’t stop blooming because of the rain. Instead, it uses the rain to help it grow. Likewise, we can find joy in our sorrows, our personal storms, by learning from them. When we learn from our painful experiences, we can know joy.
The flower doesn’t compete with nor compare itself to other flowers. It doesn’t have to be the prettiest, the brightest, nor the tallest flower in the garden to reach its full, God-given potential. When we stop comparing ourselves to others and simply bloom, we can know joy.
The flower doesn’t worry about what other flowers think of it. It will never dim its light nor suppress its authenticity. The rose will still bloom in the midst of a field of tulips. When we bloom where we are planted, we too can know joy.
The flower—though it doesn’t bloom for you, and it doesn’t bloom for me—it’s beauty will still bring joy to others. You see, when we bloom for ourselves and not for the approval of others, those around us are able to truly love us, because we first loved ourselves. It’s in love, we can know true joy.
Joy is not dependent on circumstances. We can’t lose joy any more than we can lose God. We were all born with joy, just like we were all born with the love of God. We must choose to accept God’s love though, just as we must tap into the joy within, realizing in essence, it’s all in the palms of our hands.