Tuesday, March 03, 2009

joy

In seeing our granddaughter Morgan crawling and standing as she held on to something, swinging her arms with her smiles, and expressing herself with words that are not yet intelligible to us, I was hit with pure joy.

If you know me, you know I've struggled some in my life with depression. Again the numbness of depression had descended on me in recent days. But seeing Morgan lifted my spirits and banished my depression so that the numbness was gone. And later hearing how God has helped my sister, Maxine, was a blessing as well.

Joy is built into life, if we have the eyes to see it. Yes, we live in a fallen world, impacted to its core by sin. But we know by faith that Jesus won and wins the day. And that victory of God begins even now, in this life. So that we can go beyond the joy in creation to where it points: the joy of the new creation in Jesus which will last forever.

Of course we're back to this life. A life filled with problems, difficulties, trials and sometimes tragedies. But even here, besides the common joy we share from our Creator, we can begin to experience the joy we find in the abundant life given in Jesus. A joy which is beyond circumstances, which like Paul said can accompany even sorrow. A joy unruffled in the depths of our being. Only because it is something beyond us, secure in Jesus. A joy from God which gives us strength for our days.

Much more to say on joy. Part of the fruit of the Spirit and part of the kingdom of God reality and experience. 

What would you like to add on this from your own life or thoughts?

8 comments:

nAncY said...

i am also in this struggle. even though i take a medication, it does not relieve living with the depression and anxiety, and i understand the weird place limbo in being able to pull out of it and feel "normal" feelings. it is a hard thing that most people can not understand unless they have lived it. i can still think of things that i would like to do, but, there is like weights tied to my body holding me back from actually getting started...a lack of drive. it is like i have to push the car to get it started and then drive with t he brake on.
ah. but it is better than laying curled up in my bed in mental agony of a black pit and crawling to the bathroom.

but, there are times that joy breaks through...and it is wonderful. there are times durring a day where i catch myself feeling normal, and it is like ...ahhhhh....wonderful.

i do not talk of the other times much, the times i am ready to go home and be done with the struggle.

my hope is in Jesus. and like you said, that is for now... in this life, even in struggle, as well as the life to come.

joy and peace be in your heart, my brother.

L.L. Barkat said...

Crawling and standing! Joy indeed. Wonderful days these are for you...

Mama K said...

I have had some depressing days lately, too. Winter usually gives me a few of those.This is when I can not let my feelings rule my thoughts and actions, because they are not telling me the whole truth. My depression tells me all is worthless and bad and I might as well just quit. The truth is much different. So several times these last few weeks, I have had to force the truth out of my mouth (out loud) because I HAVE to base my thoughts and life on truth. So I say (and I was really surprised what hard work this was), " God is powerful." "God loves me." And things like that. (When I get my energy back, I should make a list of truths to speak for those days when discouragement and depression threaten to cloud my vision.)

Another thing I have been doing is making a list of things that bring me delight and joy - love gifts from God. Focusing on this helps my perspective. These last days of winter can be especially discouraging to our winter-worn souls. Praise, thanksgiving, and truth-telling will help keep my nose above water, so to speak, till the sun comes to restore me again. Then it will be easier to live in joy. Now, it can be hard, but not impossible.

I love Nancy's reminder that even when we feel depressed, our hope is in Jesus. Good thought, and so true. That is the kind of truth that we need to have as our focus in the hard days.

Lanny said...

You know, this is going to sound kinda funny, like I don't understand depression or I am insensitive to those who suffer from it, but you know I understand, that I "get" it. There is joy even in the pit of depression. It is why you can smile at your granddaughter.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Nancy. Good words. I certainly don't see you that way, but I can empathize from my own experience. Thanks much for sharing that!

Ted M. Gossard said...

L.L., Yes. Just wish we could see her everyday. And they grow up fast.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Mama K., I hear you! Yes, indeed. Can't wait to get out of Winter and really into Spring!

Yes, I fully concur. We must live our lives based on truth and not on feelings. Sometimes I let my feelings or grief over what is going on, say what a person is saying about other people, put me in a dark hole in which I can't see well. But instead we need the light of God's truth in the "sun of righteousness with healing in its rays", Jesus. We need the truth as it is in Jesus, for sure.

And we look forward to the coming warmer weather.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Lanny, Yes, that was a gift from God to me, to see Morgan. God gives us joy even in gloom, as you say. Smiles seem therapeutic as I've read. I hope Morgan remembers Grandpa G. as someone who smiled a lot and loved her as well as loved God.