Yesterday was a bleak, foggy, rainy day here in PA.  One of those days where everything appears gray and soggy and getting out of bed is extra hard.  Now, I am all for a good lazy PJ day but my in-laws were visiting from NC so not getting up was not an option.  During a break in the rain I invited my mother-in-law for a walk along my favorite local trail.  The conversation and movement alone were enough to lift our spirits, but as we walked we started noticing something.  There were colorful Christmas balls hanging from trees along the path.  One, two, four, six…after a few minutes we were on the hunt to find them all like two little children on a treasure hunt.  With each one we paused and marveled at how beautiful it was hanging on a drippy wet tree.  We wondered who took the time to hang  them and did they know it would bring so much joy and smiles?  What a simple, kind and anonymous act.

The joy we felt was not just from the Christmas balls themselves but rather because we chose to seek and receive it.  We could have easily focused on the fog and the drippy wet trees and missed the hidden treasures amidst it all.  We could have chosen to see the day as too dreary go out in.  But instead, we went on a hunt for JOY.

Life is filled with choices.  Even in the hard, even in the trials of this life we still have choice.  We can choose to see and receive the joyful, beautiful moments or we can choose to see only the pain.  We can choose to get out of bed in the morning and see only our to-do list and what is not right about our circumstances or we can choose to see and seek all that is right and well and beautiful.  We can choose to see our physical disease or diagnosis as brokenness or we can choose to see it as an invitation into wholeness and a new way of being.  We can choose to see what we cannot eat as a punishment or choose to see all that there is available to us.

Jesus chose to come into the world in the humblest of ways.  He could have come in as true royalty, experiencing the finest things this world had to offer but He didn’t.  He came in quietly, humbly, and without what most would consider comforts.  He came to show us how to SEE in the dark, to LOVE in the hard, to be a LIGHT for others in the dreariness of life.  Just like the anonymous decorator of my local trail, He did it without knowing who would choose to see and receive His own Love and Light and be filled with joy because it was not about Him.  He did it for you and for me.

Where can you choose to seek and find joy today? You might just be pleasantly surprised by what you find. 

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.   Matthew 7:7-8