This December has been very busy and stressful for me. It has been hard to see the joy of the season when I have multiple papers and exams at seminary and deadlines and ministries to manage here at the church.

To make matters worse, I think regularly about the tragedies and difficulties in our country and our world like Hurricane Sandy, Newtown, civil war in Syria, poverty, hunger, climate change. It is sometimes hard to think about joy when we consider our circumstances.

Then, I start to think about the good things that are happening. I start to think about how God’s presence is moving. I start to think about the season we are celebrating. Then I think about how the rest of my December has gone:

I met a young couple who, upon learning about our Hypothermia Program, purchased a meatshare (Google it) and will provide a main dish for 35 homeless people weekly for the next four months.

Ten members of our church spent a week in a small and very remote village in Haiti called Bercy and loved every minute of it, bucket baths and all.

I met a little girl who saved up her money for months to give it to the church so that we could send it to Hurricane Sandy victims. Another girl sold handmade bows to collect money for the Child Rescue Centre. Our children know how to give sacrificially.

Floris members will be serving homeless individuals dinner on Christmas evening through our Hypothermia Program. Our volunteers will be providing them with gifts, roasted turkey, and all the trimmings, just because they want to.

On New Year’s Day, we will have volunteers cooking and preparing meals to deliver to people living in motels and in the woods around the Route 50 Corridor. They had the option of not doing it which would’ve been perfectly acceptable. Instead, they decided to go the extra mile and send letters to every grocery store in the area to ask for dessert and food donations.

We have too many people who want to go Christmas Caroling to a facility for at-risk youth. We are bursting at the seams.

We collected over 1300 gifts for Advent Giving which will support mothers and children at Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter, children at Hutchison Elementary School, children and families of incarcerated persons through ANGEL Tree Prison Ministries, children supported by Reston Interfaith, and children with disabilities and their families through Care Connection for Children.

I do know what joy is and I do know where to find it. Right here. With you.

I hope your Christmas was filled with joy yesterday. Peace and grace to all of you.

The post What is Joy and Where Can I Find It? by Jake McGlothin appeared first on Today I Saw God.