Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Joy When the Juice Runs Low

I have to admit I’m tired. This week follows a fast and furious trip to Haiti. Now that I’m back I’ve got hospital calls to make, benevolence issues to deal with, a funeral to prepare for,  meetings to attend, and a bunch of other stuff. You get the idea. Tired can be draining.

There are a lot of other things that can drain us. Job frustrations, illness, financial strains, family issues, relationships, mood fluxuation, unsuccessful projects or plans, disappointments, failure, sleeplessness. Makes me tired just thinking about it. And it seems all those things can combine or hit individually and disconnect me from my joy.

It’s as if my Joy bucket has sprung a leak or the well has run dry.

If I can’t seem to draw up any joy from the well within my soul, I need a reality check to see if my expectations are getting in the way.

If I expect:

  • Constant happiness,
  • Abundant fun,
  • Unending pleasure,
  • Freedom from hurt,
  • Protection from conflict,
  • Bubble-wrapped from unpleasantness,
I’m going to be disappointed because God never promised the kind of life Joel Osteen preaches.

Jesus said to expect difficulty, but also said to anticipate His peace, presence and joy to accompany the dose of reality unannounced trials will bring. Paul said with the temptation, God will supply the way out or the way to endure.

What drains me is getting disappointed when what I expect isn’t happening. Once I’m disappointed it’s easy to become discouraged when things stay the way they are for an extended period. Depression sets in when I start telling myself this is how it’s always going to be. Finally disillusionment shows up telling me how hopeless things are.

How insensitive to the presence of God I have become to exchange the truth of God for a lie! And how ignorant I am on the topic of joy. Nothing can me of my Joy because it is not a quantity of something I possess but a statement of whose I am.

In fact, nothing can add joy nor take joy away. It is a gift of God. What makes me feel like it has leaked out is my inability to trust God with whatever is going on.

Question: anything oppressing you right now? What are you going to do about it?

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