I confess, many times I have to squint and maybe even tilt my head a little to the side to find a sliver of silver.”
Through my study and walk with God, I have understood Romans 8:28 to mean that the end is good, but it may not always be good in the beginning. The clouds may be dark, and the storm may be raging, but the child of God can rest assured that He will work it all out for our good in the end.
John Milton said, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” I confess, many times I have to squint and maybe even tilt my head a little to the side to find a sliver of silver.
One of my favorite quotes is, “If you think sunshine brings you happiness, then you have never danced in the rain” (author unknown). Imagine for a moment a boy who sees a puddle and the pure joy that radiates from his face as he jumps as hard as he can into it. Water splashes everywhere. He’s soaked from head to toe, but oh, the belly laugh!
1. Dance in the Rain
As I teach in Bible schools on the African continent, I frequently admonish my students not to be “sunshine Christians” only. When a child of God has a deep understanding of who He is and that He is working all things together for our good, we can find joy along the journey. We can dance in the rain! No matter the circumstances, God is still on the throne, and He will always be worthy of our praise. Every cloud really does have a silver lining!
There are days we have to look for the sliver of silver. Some days we find it easier than others. Other days we wipe away the tears before we can manage to look, but God is always faithful, and He will never leave us. He is always by our side, fighting for us. We can find joy in the journey.
2. Consciously Choose Joy Daily
In Ghana, there is a saying, “God is good,” and the audience responds, “All the time. All the time, God is good.” After twenty-two years of mission work as a single lady, I have learned that joy is a choice I must consciously make every day. My strength comes from the deep-rooted joy only God can give. “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
It’s like a concoction of the Holy Ghost mixed with life. Add a dash of my crazy personality, and you have the makings for a splatter of joyous laughter. On some days, if anyone were listening, they might think I have completely lost it, similar to the boy jumping in the puddle or someone who has learned to dance in the rain. I love to laugh. Sometimes I laugh until I cry, or laugh so I don’t cry, or laugh through the tears already streaming down my face.
Not every day is sunshine. Literally! I live in a country that is 80 percent rainforest. Rain is a common occurrence, naturally and spiritually. Missions can be lonely. Life can be hard. Doing deputation during a global pandemic was quite the journey. Moving to a new field of labor while pandemic restrictions continued to cause havoc worldwide was another interesting situation. Suffice it to say, my spiritual rain boots are well worn, and I have chosen to dance in the rain many times.
I love my life. Is it perfect? No! But I know I am in the center of God’s will, and He gives me joy down deep in my soul every step of the way! Truly, like the song says, “There is a river that flows from deep within.”
I remember singing the old hymn “Joy Unspeakable” as I grew up. The fourth verse says,
I have found the joy no tongue can tell,
How its waves of glory roll!
It is like a great o’erflowing well,
3. Trust God Is Working for Good
The ability to find the silver lining, the trust that He is working everything out for our good and joy no matter the circumstance—all these touchstones come from the well that springs up within our souls.
4. Take the Joy Challenge
Let me issue you a challenge. I dare you to find at least three reasons for joy in your day.
I’ll go first:
- I awoke this morning.
- The water is flowing.
- The power is on.
- God met me in my living room.
- My coffee was quite tasty as I spent time in the Word and prayer.
This list only covers the first part of my day. There is so much more joy to be found throughout the remaining hours. It may rain today, but I have revisited the source of my strength, and I have my spiritual rain boots on!Sometimes when squinting to find a silver lining, I get tickled and cannot help but laugh. Click To Tweet
Sometimes when squinting to find a silver lining, I get tickled and cannot help but laugh. Why? Because God is good. All the time! His goodness gives me joy down deep in my soul for every step along the journey and through every season of life. I have learned to dance in the rain!
Colleen Carter is a career missionary living in Gabon, Africa. She served in Ghana for twenty years and then transitioned to Gabon in 2020. Colleen loves being a global missionary and feels a good sense of humor is a must in life. Learning to find joy in every season has helped her succeed along the way. She is originally from New Brunswick, Canada, but has spent over half of her life in Africa.
Resources and Links on Joy
Women of the Spirit – Joy: Women of the Spirit Bible studies are designed for women who desire to walk in the Spirit as stated in Galatians 5:16, 25. This multi-volume Bible study is created to help women grow, mature, and become more like Christ. A relationship with God and His Word should supersede all other relationships.
A refreshing read, this book will fill your heart as you enjoy Karla’s perspective on finding joy in everyday life experiences.A version of this article was published in Reflections.
A version of this article was published in Reflections.