The young woman crumpled on the front stoop, devastating loss echoing through her heart. An elderly friend held her as she wept, bringing comfort to her breaking point.

The old woman did an odd thing – she handed the young woman a crimson leaf. With the color of crimson between them, she cupped her young friend’s hand in that place where young and old meet, and said, “Hold onto joy, my friend. Hold onto joy and don’t let go. The world will rip it from your heart if you let it, but joy belongs to you. You are a child of God. Joy is yours because of Him.”

The young woman gazed into the eyes of her elderly friend, shifting her eyes back and forth searching for hope. Her eyes settled on a twinkle – a knowing – and locked solid with the old woman’s truth. Joy did belong to her. Rightfully. Sacrificially. Absolutely. Sorrow and despair may knock at the door, but joy resides deeply in the child of God.

Joy is not contingent on circumstances – joy flows from the River of God. It rushes past boulders of pain and carries the debris of loss far, far away into the ocean of His grace.

The young woman paused. She ran the sleeve of her jacket past her cheeks, wiping the tears. Unfolding her fingers, she stared at the crimson leaf and beheld its Truth.

As Jesus prayed for His disciples, He said this: 

“But now I come to You [Father], 
and these things I speak in the world, that they may have 
My joy 
fulfilled in themselves” ( John 17:13).

Just as a crimson leaf was placed in the young woman’s hand, joy was placed in her heart at the place where loss and grace meet.

*Photo Credit: Elysse Hurtado

Father, Your grace does amaze me. I cannot comprehend Your mercy and love poured out on Your child through grace. Thank You Lord. Enlighten the eyes of my heart to understand. Thank You for Your gift of joy. I’m beginning to understand how joy, especially in You, is a source of great strength. It energizes me and lifts the fog of anxiety that seeks to consume. Joy seems to be so simple, but what a powerful gift for Your child. Thank You. I love You, Lord.
If you received Morning Glory via email, thank you. Please visit the Morning Glory page. I found a new song and singer (at least to me ) that I believe you’ll enjoy. The song is “What Joy” by Susan Ashton. Bless you!