It is sometimes difficult to imagine joy at all. When we struggle with failure, or we are faced with our need for change or we are grieving old losses - in those times joy seems unimaginable.
But joy can come in the midst of these struggles as we learn what it means to remain in Jesus' love.
We do not have to grieve or change alone. We learn early in recovery that we will not get very far if we remain isolated. We also learn early that we need to turn to a power that is greater than ourselves. To recover we need to learn to remain -- or abide or spend time -- in the love Jesus gives us. We are loved by God. And we are loved by other people. It is in these loving relationships that we find joy.
In John 15 Jesus has been describing himself as the vine, telling us that we are branches. He is our life-line. We need to stay closely connected to him. We can no longer pretend to be self sufficient. We must daily acknowledge our need for help and relatedness.
Jesus told us this truth because he wanted us to experience joy. "Remain in my love", Jesus said, "so your joy will be complete."
Lord, help me to remain in love.
Help me not to distance myself from you or from others.
Help me to give up pretending to be self sufficient.
Help me to remember that it is in loving and in being loved
that I will find healing and joy.
Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan
National Association for Christian Recovery