Why Joy and Sorrow Can Be Partners in this Dance of Life

Gold Brush Stroke
How does joy and the weight of living in this crazy messed up world dance in time together? 

After an enjoyable girls’ getaway with my mom and Rachel, I woke up the next morning to the heaviness of responsibility.

Past projects left undone. Necessary ongoing day-to-day tasks. Looming “issues.” They all sought to erase the sweet memories of the past two days and the comfort of being back home.

With the burden of my thoughts weighing on me, I jotted down this question in my journal: How does joy and the weight of living in this crazy messed up world dance in time together?

In other words…

How do we find peaceful rest in the swirl of busyness, the pull to achieve, the drive for financial success? 

How do we hold onto joy when our body becomes bent and twisted, when our joints ache and our mind fails? 

How do we hold onto hope when the diagnosis is all wrong? 

And then I read in the third chapter of Lamentations:


Finding Joy in the Midst

Oh my soul cries for the burdens I carry yet turns around and sings Your praises dear Lord of hope. For Your faithful love and mercies are unending. For You carry my burdens with me, You command the sun rise each day, and bring life from desolation.

You, Lord, are the reason we can grace the dance floor paired with joy and the weight of life.

You, my Savior, give me reason to sing and laugh and live when circumstances beg me give up and give in to despair.

Like the writer of Lamentations, King David (check out his Psalms), and so many others in biblical history, I’m learning trials need not exist devoid of joy. Because of the love, grace, and mercy of the Creator and Redeemer, our joy can be increased as we travel through the valleys and over the hills.

It’s an ironic juxtaposition. Knowing I don’t always need to feel joyful to be living in the joy of the Lord’s grace, gives me the freedom to live authentically. It brings peace and rest.

That’s what it means to live as one redeemed.

The Answer

So how do we answer the centuries-old question of how we can live joyfully in the midst of our burdens? Our sorrow? 

Well, it’s not really about us, but about the One who most loves us. 

By embracing the grace God freely offers we can dance a life of joy and sorrow beautifully in the arms of Christ.

By embracing the grace God freely offers we can dance a life of joy and sorrow beautifully in the arms of Christ. Share on X

We needn’t forget the hardships of our broken lives or pretend they don’t exist. But remembering the Lord’s gift of redemption lifts the burden. It creates something beautiful in its midst.

 “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)

Reflection: Read the biblical heroes’ lamentations juxtaposed with their cries of hope and thanksgiving. It helps to raise me above my circumstances to see a reason for joy. It may help you as well. How else do you get above your circumstances to find the joy of the Lord? 

For the next month or so on Thursdays, I’ll be exploring “spiritual whitespace” or soul rest with Bonnie Gray at FaithBarista.com. Bonnie’s first book, a deeply moving memoir of sorts, Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest,ir?t=julsun 20&l=as2&o=1&a=0800721799
released June 3. It’s perfect timing for this soul-weary gal and I’m sure for many of you. Won’t you join me as we find rest in the only place it exists, the bosom of the Lord.

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21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespacenew whimsical wed

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By His Grace,



  1. Nina Fuller on June 19, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Love your post! Great questions, wonderful prayer, and then there’s this line: knowing I don’t always need to feel joyful to be living in the joy of the Lord’s grace gives me the freedom to live authentically and brings peace and rest.

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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