It’s always true.
Sorrow may endure for the evening, but joy comes in the morning.
The key is allowing it to happen. The last week or so have had some rough days, for a number of reasons. Of course it was one of those days when the things which “so easily beset us” piled on, around me.
What are the things that so easily beset you? I know what some of mine are.
Yesterday they kind of piled up throughout the day. I didn’t shake them off either, I let them pile up, I let them weigh me down and by the time we arrived home – I was hunched over as though the weight of the world was on my shoulders.
At this point I, of course, in my usual manner, sat down in the middle of it — looked around and despaired for a little while. Very elegant and dignified of me!
Then the important thing happened … the game changer, the mind changer, the evidence of the Spirit within me.
I stopped looking at myself.
I looked up.
And I saw a few things – I was sitting in our quiet space in our home. I was surrounded by the things I love. Books and art all around and my husband looking me – concerned, waiting for me to stop wallowing and be his helpmeet again.
Then I looked out — at the three kids in the yard and the two dogs.
Why was I looking in and down, instead of up and out?
The answer is my perspective remains a little skewed. I get bogged down in now and forget that within me is that which is eternal … waiting, patiently waiting, to burst out and blast away those weights and sorrows. I forget that difficulties can be made good. I forget that all things work together for good. I forget that trials are to be expected, and I forget that God uses trials; to refine us, to make us more like Him, to make us useful.
A friend highlighted it to me yesterday or the day before, when he said,
“I look at you guys and your life and I think, MAN, the opportunities for refinement that you guys have !!! God must have some massive things ahead of you guys — plans for you to do amazing things.”
I must admit I cringe a little (lot) when people say things like that. I don’t want to do great things, I don’t want to be refined anymore – it hurts, I don’t like it at all. Most days I’d rather not go too near the fire. Some days I desire the easy life that seems to elude me, the life that I gaze at enviously, but at the same time distrust. On good days when my heart is right and I’m getting my strength from the correct source I desire to shine brightly.
I know that no metal is purified by staying away from the fire and on good days I don’t fear the fire.
The one who patiently waits for me to come back to helping him says I’m a very complex person.. a paradoxical personality. A person who wants to give up and at the same time fights like crazy to keep going. Someone who wants a life of ease, yet who despises the idea of a life of ease. He does deserve some kind of a medal – it’s true!
I know those words of our friend to be true. Our days are often overflowing with opportunities for refining, days like these are designed to burn away some more of the dross. These days aren’t designed for me to be overwhelmed by the things that beset me. The difficulties that appear don’t appear so that I can carry them with me, sit with them, or allow them to overwhelm me. They appear to highlight the dross I didn’t even know was there. They appear to highlight the dross that is marring the purity of the metal of which I’m made. They highlight the parts of me that don’t yet provide a reflection of the refiner. They highlight the impurities that mask the brightness of the joy that resides within.
“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.” Rumi
So friend, in your sorrow and difficulties, look up and out.
You’ll see it – you’ll find the joy.
You haven’t lost it, you may have just simply lost sight of it.
There’s a reason why we are told that joy comes in the morning..
It’s true ..
No matter how bad the day behind you was, no matter who may be against you or what they may say or how they may threaten you.
You may have had a glimpse of the psalmists experience in Psalm 38:19-20
But my enemies are vigorous, and they are strong; and those who hate me wrongfully have multiplied.
Those also who render evil for good, they are my adversaries, because I follow what is good.
Two things, whatever you do:
1. Don’t stop doing good.
2. Look up and out.
Joy will return, joy will always return.
Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin