Happiness bubbles up quickly when things are going well, yet it is a fickle feeling that plummets just as quickly. Joy is something deeper– an assurance of what will be, because God has promised it. The tides of life that sweep happiness away cannot steal true joy from the soul.
German composer Ludwig van Beethoven knew what true joy was. He began to lose his hearing when he was a young man, becoming completely deaf at age 47. Yet many of his greatest works were written after his tragic loss, including his Ninth Symphony, “Ode to Joy.” As if the composer’s loss of hearing wasn’t enough of a burden, Beethoven also suffered from a condition known as synesthesia– a connecting of his senses that caused him to see musical notes in color and taste the sounds he heard! This man whose senses were interconnected, and whose hearing began to fail him in the prime of his life, continued to pursue his love of music and created some of the world’s greatest masterpieces without the ears to hear them himself.
Joy may seem difficult to attain at this time in history, as most of us are feeling the heaviness that uncertainty brings. But faith in the goodness of God can repel anxiety and leave room for the joy that He offers each of us:
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. Psalm 94:19
This slowing of our normal day-to-day can be a gift if we will take the opportunity to consider our routines, our relationships, and most importantly, whether we have placed our faith in God. If we will do so, all of the wonderful promises in His Word will be ours–that is joy to the soul.