A Remedy for the Regular

Do not look for rest in any pleasure, because you were not created for pleasure: you were created for Joy. And if you do not know the difference between pleasure and joy you have not yet begun to live. ~ Thomas Merton

Pleasure, however grand, isn’t sustainable. It wasn’t meant to be. If it were, we wouldn’t experience it because there would be no ordinary and no pain to give it definition. Yet, there’s a persistent temptation to measure ourselves or to measure the quality and value of our lives by our varying degrees of pain and pleasure.

Just as everyday life can seem mundane after experiences of pleasure, it comes as a sweet relief after periods of pain. Pain always seeks a remedy and when I experience it, I’m momentarily grateful for the ordinary.

On the rare occasion that I have a terrible sore throat, or a bout with the flu or a period of heartbreak, I long for the regular. But once my throat or my stomach or my heart are back in place, it’s the regular that seems to be in need of a remedy. That’s the pull of pleasure. But pleasure wasn’t meant to be a full course, only a taste.

Joy is something altogether different. Joy comes in and remakes me. Joy is my traveling companion through both pain and pleasure. Joy sustains.

I’m learning to see pain as God’s megaphone (C.S. Lewis); pleasure as God’s gift; and Joy as God’s grace!

Author: Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

21 thoughts on “A Remedy for the Regular”

  1. Love this post.. as usual. You always touch my heart. Powerful stuff – this joy! Thanks!

    I’m learning to see pain as God’s megaphone (C.S. Lewis); pleasure as God’s gift; and Joy as God’s grace!

    1. Thank you kind friend!
      The megaphone is one of my LEAST favorite FAVORITE C.S. Lewis quotes!
      I argued against that concept for a long time until the pain was so great it was listen or perish.
      I’m finding it’s hard to argue with Lewis AND Merton! 😉
      Joy is powerful stuff, to be sure!

  2. Sometimes joy exists, even though momentarily not felt, because it looks forward in truth and grace. Jesus provides a great example of this:

    Hebrews 12:2
    fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    Thanks for your words of reminder regarding pleasure and joy. They can too easily get muddled in the chaos called life!!

  3. This was so encouraging and thought provoking! I loved that last sentence and will be thinking on it awhile! So thankful that God has so many ways to reach out to us! love and prayers for a happy birthday! Eat cake!!! It helps hurt wrists!!

    1. Hello Deb!
      Pleasure and pain come and go – not usually in equal degrees.
      Joy, I think, lies in a realm outside of our circumstances and experiences.
      H made me my favorite apple dumplings which did indeed increase the pleasure and reduce the pain – for the moment! 😀
      Thank you for the kind wishes!

  4. Happy Birthday, Debbie. You can blame Caddo since she brought it up!

    “Joy is something altogether different. Joy comes in and remakes me. Joy is my traveling companion through both pain and pleasure. Joy sustains.”

    I can not say that I’ve been sustained by joy through pain…thinking… Nope! But with God’s grace, maybe I’ll find that. You have such wisdom beyond your years. Sometimes I think I could be twice your age and not ‘get’ half what you do.

  5. “Joy comes in and remakes me”–oh, Debbie! That is wonderful–and surely most evidently true in this sister’s life! Happy Birthday, Lovey! I hope you are having a pain-free day, filled with Jesus Joy–and sufficient, memorable Pleasure as well. Why not have the whole ball of wax, and a bag of chips too–birthdays should be FUN!! (and I’ll tell you a fab secret–they get better as they go on–yippee!!!) God bless you really really BIG (nod to Ed Sullivan)–much love from your forever Caddo sis

  6. What a wonderful post. I have been pondering the word joy all week. Wondering how to grasp it.. your post has helped. My oldest granddaughter is named Joy and she fits her name perfectly.. that was also the name of C.S. Lewis’s wife..he lost her to cancer.

    Thanks for writing.. using the gift God has give you to encourage others!

    1. Hello Alicia!
      Thank you for spending a few moments here. 😀
      Have you read “A Grief Observed” (very intimate journal by Lewis about his doubts and pain when Joy died)?
      How fascinating that joy is a topic you’ve been thinking on all week. It’s not one of those experiences that gets much attention. I’d love to hear more!

  7. Another great “take” on grace. I’m not sure if i have joy. I’d say that i probably have joy over pleasure (moreso). Could that be true? Pleasure has sort of a hedonistic ring about it. Joy is something so much richer and grounding. Pleasure certainly is fleeting … pain sometimes doesn’t fleet as quickly as pleasure. Much love, Debbie! Brains and beautfy (inside and out)! Grace Full indeed 😉 OXOXOX

    1. Mel –
      You certainly seem to have found your way into joy! I think pleasure is a gift, but as you said, a fleeting one. It’s easy to live for the next pleasure instead of finding the joy in present (sometimes buried under the pain).
      You are a dearheart! 😀

      1. No YOU are a dear heart! I’m trying so hard to “get on a roll” with the blog. I’m having a HARVEST MOON or something. When the seasons change i sleep a lot! It always surprises me every season too. I’m a slow learner. There’s still something about me that thinks i can “wag the dog”, or change my nature. NOT to say i don’t believe in my HP and Grace, but there’s an element of my fierce desire to overcome being a human? HMMM .. where did this come from. Oh my … Much love, darling Deb.

  8. Glad to read this. I tire of those who think they can, in any way, give someone happiness or that happiness is even what it’s about. Yes, joy is a grace isn’t it? And a beautiful one. Thank you, Debbie.
    All is grace 😀

    1. Debby – so much of life is “here today and gone tomorrow” – but joy doesn’t have to be. Yes, I do think it’s a sweet gift of grace!
      Praying that you’re swimming in it right now!

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