Sunday, September 14, 2014

When Joy Fades


"I'm trading it in, for the joy of the Lord!"
Without going into a whole discussion around something I'm sure you have all heard more than one time, I'm not proposing that Joy is equal to silliness, happiness, or being goofy. Joy is something much deeper, eternal, and lasting. Happiness may grow at times from joy, but joy is not circumstantial. Joy is a something so profound that words rarely can do it justice, and I would also guess that many of you have experience this but possibly struggle to remain in it. Joy remains in trials, fires, and loneliness. Joy remains when our situation is no longer happy, laughable, or silly. Joy also remains when our life is going well, our relationships are going well, and our job is going well. Why? Again, it's not circumstantial ... because it should rest in a beautiful Truth from Someone that never changes; Christ Jesus.

However, as a follower of Christ, we also should be well aware when we feel that joyful rest waning. As I still am surfacing from what I would describe as a desert time, I am sensitive to this struggle. I learned a great deal, and I can tell that this afternoon was a time when I begin to leave His restful arms and begin to try and take control myself; a task that I will never be able to accomplish.

I have a lot on my plate that He is carrying, and when I step away and try to take hold of the plate myself I am absolutely crushed! Yet just like a child learning to walk, when I start to stumble, I feel His Hands right at my side catching me again; and I hand Him my plate back. (why do I think I could ever accomplish what He can?)

So while I may not have to always be silly (like my goofy son in the picture above!), while there may be times to handle serious matters, while happiness may come and go, I should always be able to rest in the Joy He provides.
Seriousness is not a fruit of the Spirit, but joy is. - Gareth Gilkeson
These words are challenging to me. There are plenty of times I'm quiet, serious, and reflective simply because I'm just quiet! However, there are also times I think I am too serious (at work, home, and about) when I'm missing the joy of this life He provides.

I struggle with this; but I will also let Him work with me on this too.

When Joy Fades? Recenter in Christ, and you will find it again.

~Matthew

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