Prayer in the Night – Chapter 12
“Shield the Joyous” was a little harder to understand – why do we pray that those who are joyous would be shielded? The author goes on to comment, “Joy takes courage.” (151)
How does joy take courage?
I usually think of joy as an emotion. It just comes. I don’t plan it, nor do I plan not to have it. It’s either there or not. And in those times I don’t have it, I always think I should. After all, Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS; again I will say, rejoice!” (caps are mine!)
But Tish explains, “To risk joy requires hope…to hope is to ‘borrow grace.’” (152)
Being in a position to need grace is very vulnerable. Have you ever laughed at something only to find out the other person didn’t think it was funny? When I have, I felt like a fool. Not only had I offended them, I thought there was something wrong with me to find it joyful.
I remember once when I was young and Dad was on a ladder, doing something with the gutter on the garage. He started to lose his balance, swinging his arms like a cartoon character. I laughed because from my little mind, it looked funny. From his vantage point, it was not so funny!
It takes courage to be free enough to laugh, to feel the fullness of our joy, the fullness of our hope. Others don’t always share it with us.
So in those moments of spontaneous joy because of our relationship of grace with Jesus, we may need to be shielded from those who are doubting, who are not sharing the hope or the grace. We don’t want them to rob us of our joy.
God doesn’t want us to be robbed of our joy.