C.S. Lewis in his book Surprised by Joy tells us, "All joy reminds. It is never a possession, always a desire for something longer ago, or further away, or still about to be." Joy is something that comes from deep within us. It's rooted in our soul. Joy is not dependent on something external, but it is something that springs up often from memories of something past, or excitement and hope for what is yet to come.
When I think of the joyful moments of my life, often they are marked by simple moments of bliss, yet something about those moments stir the joy deep inside of me. Joy is found in other areas of our life too. It's not always something from our past. As a believer in Jesus, even when I don't feel joyful, I trust that joy resides within me.
In 2009, after a traumatic car accident, I felt like I lost all joy. I became depressed, and fearful to the point that I had no desire to leave my apartment. I felt like I had been robbed of the joy of being a new mom, because at the time, I wasn't the mom I had hoped to be. In my heart, I knew joy existed because it was something I once felt. But in that season of my life joy was something I knew in my head, and longed to feel in my heart.
The fruit of the Spirit is something that is rooted in each of us. I also believe that like all fruit, there is a growing season. There are times where we don't see the fruit on the trees, but the tree continues to develop, and every season new blossoms spring up. Fruit doesn't stay on the tree forever, but as we cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, we will continue to see growth.
Close your eyes, begin to breathe deeply. What images does joy bring to your mind? Can you remember a time in your life when you were most joyful? What was happening around you? How did it feel inside you? Can you feel that joy deep within your body as you recall that joyful moment?