Posted by: kathryngraves | July 27, 2012

The Color of Joy

“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

When we live in circumstances that look bleak or desolate, we can forget to check for the bright spots. Those specks of color splashed against the dull gray of our situation like tiny wildflowers springing up among the dead grasses of late summer on the prairie.

My grandson became refreshing color for me during my treatment. He lives several hours from me, but his parents brought him for a couple of visits, and on two occasions I was well enough to travel to their house. I could focus on Carson instead of my misery for a day or two. Those times enabled me to gather up courage and strength for the next stretch of dull scenery.

The scripture text-messages I received from friends became pops of fuchsia, orange and gold in my days. I looked forward to them as much as a walk through botanical gardens, brief as they were.

Even though I enjoyed bits of relief here and there, I couldn’t see around the bend. Sometimes I wasn’t sure I wanted to. I was afraid of what I might find. I failed to remember that in God’s presence there is fullness of joy. Fullness. Like the feeling after a savory meal complete with chocolate dessert.

When I did arrive around the corner from deep suffering, an emotional abyss dropped away in front of me and I fell over the edge because of some news I received about a loved one. Rocks are ugly in the dark. However, the Lord extended His hand to help me climb out of the chasm. And just at the edge, a sparkling, glittering vista awaited me.

The Lord showed me the path of life and taught me to look for the colors of joy. He wove them together into a bouquet I could only accept in His presence. Then, when I thought that was all, He let me see the pleasures extending beyond His right hand. Because, as I learned, the Lord doesn’t leave us in dull scenery forever, and the contrast of bright color against neutrals heightens the color. Deep suffering and grief experiences intensify our joy.

Now I thank God for variations in the path and those bright spots of joyful color.

Photo/”Early Morning Light” pastel painting by Rosemary Dugan

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