What if you could have joy in any and every circumstance? Do you find that hard to imagine? Or is it like imagining a purple elephant flying on tiny wings wearing a tutu? You can imagine it, but you’re pretty sure it’s not real.
And yet there are people out there who have suffered more than you or I ever have, or ever will, who say that this joy is real, and is possible. They lived it. They know.
The Apostle Paul is one of those people. If you want to line your sufferings up against his, go ahead: beaten to within an inch of his life an several occasions, imprisoned multiple times (and not the type of prison where there are regular meals, TVs and yards to walk around in). He was hated, rejected, criticized, betrayed…Paul went through it all. And yet Paul lived with a joy that was deeper than all the pain he endured.
Paul found joy in his relationship with God, and in the partnerships he built with people. He found deep, lasting, circumstance-surpassing joy. And you can find it too.
Through the summer we’ll be exploring Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi, and learning to fly with the joyful dancing elephants. Because the joy of the Lord is more real than you can imagine.