Tuesday, January 19, 2010


As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Jn 15:9-11.

Some doctors bug the stew out of you. Even though Jessie as a Christian doctor, she seems to smile too much and too often. She’s married, got kids, works daily in her practice and should have the same frustrations, challenges and tragedies that the rest of us do. But she doesn’t show the strain like the rest of us do, like I feel. She’s not normal. She seems filled with that joy the Bible talks about so often. I need some of that.

What is this stuff that Paul calls “joy”? Though there are many definitions and theological discussions around the word, one worthwhile definition seems fitting: Joy is the settled understanding that life is good. This definition certainly takes us beyond the happiness that depends on circumstances and toward the understanding that joy does not always reflect the happenings of life. Legitimate joy in a broken world cannot exist unless it is directed beyond the mundane to the Almighty. We who know this truth can find that joy by seeking an ongoing, abiding relationship with our Lord God. So, we do that as best we know how, and yet, we still often find ourselves frustrated or broken or numb with no joy in sight.

It seems that there are two mechanisms which drain our joy as Christian doctors.

  1. Some of us are overwhelmed by the burdens of life.
  2. Some of us are pursuing joy in ways it cannot be found.

Later devotions will explore these dangers, but each of us need to look today at our own lives and determine where our joy has gone.

What burdens have drained my joy? How am I seeking to pursue joy in my life? We need to ask these questions with our Bibles open at the foot of the Cross. We need to ask these questions within the community of other Christian doctors who are asking the same. Just by lifting these questions up to our Lord and sharing them in community, we begin a process that will lighten our burdens and direct us down the right road to joy.

Dear God,
We know that Your goal for our lives is joy. We know that our only true joy comes when we seek You as our greatest desire and pursue life in the way You direct us through Your people and Your word. Please help me to do so. Amen

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