I often read blog posts in which writers pour out their hearts about their trials and tribulations. These dear people are often suffering from depression or other chronic illnesses, or dealing with family problems. Others are simply running the race of life and feeling as though they will never catch up, never mind get ahead.
I understand! Life, even life with Christ, can seem unbearable at times.
And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. – Luke 13:11
What a relief it is to share our burdens with those in the family of God; what a comfort it is to know that they are praying for us!
And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee. – Numbers 12:13
But I believe that as much as we should share our burdens, we should also share that which brings us joy.
When I am feeling a bit low, I take a few moments to meditate upon my salvation. The grace of God puts everything else into perspective.
So I saw in my dream, that just as CHRISTIAN came up to the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble; and so continued to do till it came to the mouth of the sepulchre, where it fell in, and I saw it no more. Then was CHRISTIAN glad and lightsome, and said, with a merry heart, “He hath given me rest by his sorrow, and life by his death.” Then he stood still awhile to look and wonder; for it was very surprising to him, that the sight of the cross should thus ease him of his burden. – from The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. – Psalm 51:12
And, as often as I can, I try to set aside the activity or attitude that is dragging me down. For me, it’s most often the busyness of life as a home-schooling mom and the corresponding lack of sleep that leech away my joy.
When those times come, I try to switch off my mind and still my busy hands. I pray, read, or nap (I can usually nap on command!). I bake something delicious and decadent. I schedule family time into our calendar—time when we are not working or studying together, but time when we are just enjoying each other. Our usual tasks will be waiting when we return, but, with our joy and optimism restored, we will feel better able to tackle those tasks.
God does not want us to worry so much or work so hard that we lose our joy. Instead, he desires that we maintain our joy in the midst of whatever life brings.
Please, take time to do whatever brings you true, Biblical joy. And let’s lift each other up, with praise to God and encouragement to each other!
But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. – Psalm 5:11
What brings you joy? How do you spread joy to others? I welcome your suggestions!