Years ago I opened a small online store. God had tugged and nagged at me for months, and I met Him at every nudge with protest:
"But Lord, I am tired!"
"Have you noticed the 5 year old and 5 month old?"
"Don't forget about homeschooling!"
"You know my husband travels for weeks at a time!"
"But my life is sooo hard already!"
I finally gave in. For reasons I still don't fully understand, I opened that business, and gave it the name that it seemed meant to have: "The Joyful Mama."
It was the name I felt led to use, but I remember at the time laughingly telling someone that it must have been meant prophetically because I sure wasn't feeling very joyful. I felt tired, overwhelmed and grumpy.
What I wanted from God in those early days was courage to walk through life and its endless turns with some tiny glimmer of hope.
What I found was joy.
There is no denying that this life of ours is fraught with pain and suffering. I still struggle. And yet everywhere I turn I see glimpses of beauty, and deep inside, I feel a joy that gurgles and bubbles, just waiting to overflow out my heart.
Jesus was just waiting for me to ask Him to unstop the cork.