But God poured out the oil of joy

Hebrews 1:8-9 But to the Son God says . . . “O God, your God has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.”

In Karis’s journals I discovered that she believed God had poured out the oil of joy not only on the Son, Jesus, but on her as well. In high school she was captivated by the expression “oil of joy.” Here are three sample quotes from her journals:

Mar 22, 1998 (age 14) Yesterday the joy-oil that’s deep down in my pan always just started sizzling and popping and pretty soon boiled over. One of those moments when I WISH I had a gloriously beautiful voice to praise You with  . . . I understand that, somehow, the pain is there to make me strong. I know how Your joy can be strength. How I can go to school and work and talk and laugh even when my body says “Go lie down OR ELSE!”

                Mar 26, 1998 (age 14) I didn’t write to You yesterday, Father, because I was too sick. It hurt so much that I rolled up in a ball and cried. . . I wasn’t happy. In fact it would have been very hard to smile last night. But I was so covered to the ears in that peaceful kind of joy that You give me, and I felt as though I had a glimpse of heaven. My joy-oil wasn’t sizzling or boiling over, but it was very, very much there. It was the most beautiful time.

                Sept 4, 2000 (age 17) Joy is a constant presence, like oil inside me: sometimes a silent lubricant, sometimes sizzling and popping to the surface. God, You are with me—that is why I smile. I wonder if my friends understand our secret, Yours and mine. Of how I am safe in Your arms, how I watch You work around me, how I thrill to be with Your beloved people, how we talk, joke, laugh together, rejoice in being.

I am writing this post the day after Trinity Sunday, the day we celebrate and think deeply about the relationship between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Yesterday I came to this passage from Hebrews as part of my daily Scripture reading, and  the timing gave me goosebumps. We are allowed to listen in on an intimate conversation between God the Father and God the Son. Just so, Karis’s journals invite us into her intimate conversations with her Father. I am so grateful for the vision of Jesus, more full of joy than anyone else in history, and of Karis, blessed with joy despite her suffering.

How good You are, Lord!

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