Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
~ Nehemiah 8:10
Let's face it. None of us wake up each day full of energy and ready to start the day. For me, today has been one of those days.
I have learned, however, on these days I work harder to be intentional about discovering joy, so that the energy that I do have is focused on something positive.
Years ago following a lengthy illness, I encountered a long period of depression. It was the hardest thing I have ever encountered in my life. My entire life seemed to be focused on what I had lost during the illness, rather than what I had managed to survive. It was a real battle, and it wasn't until someone asked me, "What brings you joy?" and, "Where do you find it?" that I realized that some days I must seek joy.
It was at that point that my focus had to be on seeking out the things that bring me joy with the energy I had because that was the only way I was going to make it through the experience.
At first it was really somewhat hard. I was still so centered on the pain, that the joy remained on the outskirts of my life. It was probably only after a month of this intentional quest and spiritual practice that I began to see the results of the work I was doing. Yes, the work I was doing!
Joy isn't something that is meant to be hard to find, but for some, joy just doesn't seem to appear. It has to be found.
I am reminded of the song, "the joy of the Lord is my strength," but my joy is still something I have to be intentional about.
The important thing is to realize the impact that joy makes in our life. It is both sustaining, and empowering. It helps to make every day a little easier, especially on days when you get up, already feeling like you're exhausted.
Be intentional joy seekers, and stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.