I don’t know about you, but my week has been very, very long already and it’s only Thursday. There are still several days left to go in the week.
Major stresses at work, regret for words spoken or actions taken or not taken this week, concern about my dad’s health situation and what next steps are to be, not really knowing how to help my mom, lack of quality sleep, not eating healthy, not exercising, constant bad news coming from the TV, radio, and internet … all have led to a place of depletion in my soul. I want to cry but am unable to do so. I woke up today with a hardness in my heart, an unwillingness to believe, an impatience in my spirit, a desire to either lash out or to cocoon myself from it all. I want to run away. I want to not care. BUT GOD says
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 4:4-7 (ESV)
This was a passage shared during our chapel time at work on Wednesday. God knew I would need to have that verse waiting in the wings of my mind this morning.
Joy is not a characteristic that comes naturally to me. It isn’t the same as happiness. Happiness depends mostly on outward circumstances. Joy doesn’t. It is deeper, more inward. I am not happy this morning. I don’t have to be. I don’t like certain circumstances, responsibilities, events in my life right now. But am I, can I be joyful? While joy is given by God as a fruit of the spirit, I also must choose to strive for it, to seek it, to accept it, to live it in the midst of the daily struggles and pain of life.
I hope that in my choosing and seeking joy today that I will find it, accept it and live it.
Grace and peace.