C.S. Lewis saw a clear distinction between joy, and pleasure and happiness "I sometimes wonder” he said “whether all pleasures are not substitutes for joy". Joy (in his sense) has only one characteristic in common with pleasure and happiness; the fact that anyone who has experienced either pleasure, happiness or joy will want to experience it again. But, he says, “I doubt whether anyone who has tasted joy would ever, if joy were in his power, exchange it for all the pleasures in the world”.
Some time ago I heard these words... “joy in the Lord has both roots and wings”.
This is joy that sounds like some kind of hybrid plant-bird... perhaps the sort of strange imagery used to describe divine encounters in both the Old and New Testaments.
I think that whenever I have known ‘real’ joy it’s felt like taking flight... like having wings... and yet at the same time it’s felt like something rooted deep within me...
If joy in the Lord is to attain the freedom of the bird that soars and swoops then joy in the Lord must have roots that go deep... Jesus promised us his joy rooted within us.
9 ‘As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: love each other as I have loved you. John 15: 9 - 12
Roots need to be watered and nourished, or they will wither and die... they need to be watered by Jesus whose water is life-giving, and in whose love we are complete and where joy can be found as we lovingly meet the needs of the world.
So, take time to nourish the roots of faith that are within you at the well of Jesus life-giving waters so that you may soar on wings as eagles.
Revd. Janine Atkinson