Sorry this is coming a little late in the day, I actually had coffee with one of the ladies who was on the Italy retreat, and have had tons of work on the house this morning.
What a JOY to connect again with one of the ladies that joined us on our retreat last month and reminisce on what the Lord was doing and is still doing in our lives through the retreat!
So here is the Day 5 Devotional on JOY for the Art & Faith Creative Retreat last month in Italy.
C.S. Lewis in his book Surprised by Joy explains JOY like this:
He tells of experiencing an other-worldly JOY - a specific joy that defies our modern understanding. This idea of JOY is not a satisfied desire, but an UNSATISFIED desire… a deep longing for God, a hungry pursuit of God’s heart that never ends and is more satisfying than any earthly happiness.
Lewis recalls three seemingly trivial and disconnected events with a common thread: he experienced a sudden, piercing pang of longing ─ a bittersweet ache and yearning for something far-off, other-worldly, and unnamed during each event. He would later recognize these sudden aches of longing: a deep spiritual hunger for God ─ not just for an intellectual knowledge of God, but for a real relationship with Him. These deep longings in Lewis’ life ─ these stabs of Joy ─ worked as flashing sign-markers pointing him down the path toward Christ.
How to Act on This:
True Joy, as Lewis presents it to us, is the ache for something beyond this world. The Holy Spirit uses this restlessness to awaken spiritual hunger.
When little moments of life ─ like the way the light falls on a summer evening ─ stir you with a deep longing that’s hard to define, don’t look to earthly pursuits to fill the void. Instead, allow the ache to push you deeper into your relationship with God. Pursue Him. Allow that longing for Him to become the hottest fire in your heart.
Shadowlands and Songs of Light Quote of the Day:
"Joy—that sharp, wonderful Stab of Longing—has a lithe, muscular lightness to it. It’s deft. It produces longing that weighs heavy on the heart, but it does so with precision and coordination…It dashes in with the agility of a hummingbird claiming its nectar from the flower, and then zips away. It pricks, then vanishes, leaving a wake of mystery and longing behind it.”
Lewis is so creative in his words and in his way of interpreting the joy that only comes from our Heavenly Father…
Reflect on these Verses today:
Here are two questions you can think and part over and continue writing in your journal:
1. What is a creative way that you can express JOY through your art or your pen or your voice?
2. Write in your journal how you can draw closer to the Lord through these “stabs of joy”
Today on my drive to meet Jody for coffee, I had a couple revelations from the Lord while I was thinking about some things. I want to share those with you soon because I felt like it was for someone else to know as well. So many times when, through prayer and studying His Word, I feel the Lord reveals things not only for me, but for me to share with YOU.
So I will share that later this week after the 7 Day Devotional is finished.
Have a BLESSED day,