Season of Joy. Some may read those words and be able to say they are in that season. Others may read them and feel a heaviness of the expectation that you “should” feel that way during the holidays. If you are in the midst of facing decisions to send a family member to treatment, battling depression, or grappling with how to navigate the dysfunction of addiction and family gatherings, to list a few, that feeling of joy may not line up with your current life state. With that can come sense that there is something wrong with you, or your family, or your circumstances because they don’t align with that expectation.
Recently I came across Psalm 126:5, “Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.” As a culture we tend to focus on the joy part. We fell like if we are doing it “right” then there will be happy feelings and all will be well with our world. In this verse, it shows that those very tears may be what is needed to water the ground in your life and allow joy to burst forth.
Just like fall, spring, etc. don’t stop or shift because an event going on in our world, the season that God is using in our life to harvest something may not change for the holidays. It doesn’t mean we are doing it wrong, it doesn’t make it hurt less, but it does relieve the pressure that we have to be in a place that we aren’t.
My prayer is that those of you who are facing some difficult challenges this holiday season find peace with the harvest planted in your life and trust that a real season of joy will come. This joy often arrives when you have time and perspective to look back and see how all along God was walking right along with you in that field that felt so barren and without purpose.