I’m a victim of circumstance.”  Nobody said that line better than Curly from Three Stooges fame.  It didn’t seem to matter what the near-pointless plot was, Curly would always have something to blame his actions or even his mood on.  Of course, I’m not sure I’d be in a good mood if I got slapped around by Moe all day long. How many of us are just a little like Curly; our moods determined by circumstance? A well-known poem about the mighty Casey has a great last stanza…

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;

The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,

And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;

But there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Casey has struck out.

Do you ever feel like there is not enough joy in your life?  Maybe you or someone you love and admire has struck out?  I can’t help but imagine that most of us feel a certain joyless-ness in this life from time to time.  The bills are past due, the car breaks down, the babysitter can’t make it, the kids are having a rough time in school, you are fighting more with your spouse, Kelso beats Mark Morris…what else could go wrong?

Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that the Joy of the Lord is your strength.  This kind of Joy is not the kind that only appears with the good times and is nowhere to be seen with the bad times.  No, this kind of Joy sustains people in the midst of trials, troubles and good times as well.

We might be victims of circumstance, but do we have to get slapped around by the Moe’s of the world?  How about we get our joy from somewhere else?

Cuetainly….Nyuekk nyuekk nyuekk