“There’s Still My Joy”

I don’t know that either the person who wrote the lyrics or the one who composed the music of this song is a Christian, but the words still grasp and express truths about Christmas Day. While birds don’t give us peace, God is able to do so in the midst of our sorrows. Though we grieve, there’s still our joy for Christmas Day.

I took my tree down to the shore
The garland, and the silver star
To find my peace, and grieve no more
To heal this place inside my heart

On every branch I laid some bread
And hungry birds filled up the sky
They rang like bells around my head
They sang my spirit back to life

One tiny child can change the world
One shining light can show the way
For all my tears, for what I’ve lost
There’s still my joy
There’s still my joy
For Christmas day

The snow comes down on empty sand
There’s tinsel moonlight on the waves
My soul was lost, but here I am
So this must be amazing grace

One tiny child can change the world
One shining light can show the way
Beyond my tears for what I’ve lost
There’s still my joy
There’s still my joy
For Christmas day
There’s still my joy for Christmas day

If grief is shadowing your joy at Christmas, may you know God’s care for you in whatever your loss, and may He give you joy for Christmas day because of who Jesus is and why He came.

Matthew 11 closes with Jesus’ invitation, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” In chapter 12, he quotes from Isaiah 42, and we get another picture of Jesus’ care.

“BEHOLD, MY SERVANT WHOM I HAVE CHOSEN;
MY BELOVED IN WHOM MY SOUL IS WELL-PLEASED;
WILL PUT MY SPIRIT UPON HIM,
AND HE SHALL PROCLAIM JUSTICE TO THE GENTILES.
HE WILL NOT QUARREL, NOR CRY OUT;
NOR WILL ANYONE HEAR HIS VOICE IN THE STREETS.
A BATTERED REED HE WILL NOT BREAK OFF,
AND A SMOLDERING WICK HE WILL NOT PUT OUT,
UNTIL HE LEADS JUSTICE TO VICTORY.
AND IN HIS NAME THE GENTILES WILL HOPE.
Matthew 12:20–21

These verses are from the first of Isaiah’s Servant Songs of Messiah. Kidner writes that the Songs “portray the Servant as ‘the man for others.'”1 Think about that for a moment. Jesus came to lay down His life, that those who believe in Him, should not perish, but have eternal life. He was truly ‘the man for others.’

Read the passage in Isaiah 42, and focus in on verses 3 and 4.

1“Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him,
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
2He will not cry or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
3a bruised reed he will not break,
and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
4He will not fail or be discouraged
till he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his law.”
Isaiah 42:1-4 RSV

Kidner points out something so tender and reassuring to me.

“The Servant’s gentleness, both as unassertiveness (v. 2) and as tenderness for the weak and inadequate (v. 3) is unmarred by any weakness of his own: the words fail and discouraged (v. 4) pointedly take up the Hebrew terms already used for dimly burning and bruised (v. 3).”2

Now think about that for a moment. Bruised in verse 3, and discouraged (NASB: crushed) in verse 4 are both from the same Hebrew word.3  Dimly burning in verse 3, and fail (NASB: disheartened) in verse 4 are both from another Hebrew word.4

When we are like a bruised reed, we have a Savior who is never discouraged, who will not break us. When we feel as if we are a dimly burning wick about to go out, we have a Savior who will not fail, who will not quench us.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials, These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes, even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise and glory and honour at when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.5
1 Peter 1:3-9
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.6
1 Peter 5:7


Candle: Makia Minich. (CC BY-SA 3.0).
1,2Derek Kidner, “Isaiah”, The New Bible Commentary: Revised, D. Guthrie, J. A. Motyer, eds., A. M. Stibbs, D. J. Wiseman, contributing eds. (Inter-Varsity Press, Downers Grove IL: 1970) 612, 613.
3William White, “2212 (rāṣaṣ), “crush, oppress,” vol. II, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr., Bruce K. Waltke, eds. (The Moody Bible Institute, Chicago IL: 1980) 860.
4John N. Oswalt, “957 (kāhâ), be dim…fail,” vol. I, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr., Bruce K. Waltke, eds. (The Moody Bible Institute, Chicago IL: 1980) 430.
5,6Translation by Edmund Clowney, The Message of 1 Peter (InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove IL: 1988) 43, 47, 51; 210.

Copyright ©2019–2021 Iwana Carpenter

One thought on ““There’s Still My Joy”

  1. Yes, a bird, in itself, cannot give peace. But it’s very easy to see the God who made the birds using them to communicate something of Himself to a perceptive and ready heart.

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