Joy, joy, unending joy

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Yesterday was a day of learning about myself. Aside from my nursing fitness group, Deacon Thom’s homily taught me something, too. He talked about loving others and having joy. You cannot separate the two. Loving others with real love brings joy and joy helps us love others in that way. I realized that I don’t live with a joy in my heart and step, at least not recently.

This semester has turned out very different than I had envisioned it way back in July on so many levels and I have sunk into a phase of self-pity these past few weeks. And I knew that I shouldn’t be behaving as I was, but sometimes I just like to be able to be sad and wallow in it. Weird, I know. But I finally opened my eyes yesterday to the fact that in spite of suffering and changes of plans that I don’t especially care for I have the greatest thing there is, the love of a savior like Jesus. A savior who gives His body and blood for my sins. A savior who wants me to follow Him and love Him unconditionally as He loves me. How am I supposed to do that while wallowing in self pity?

That’s not to say I can never be sad. Jesus Himself was full of emotions. But I can’t let negative emotions overpower my joy. When I’m sad about losing something or things are not going the way I want, I need to be joyful that I had it, or the opportunity to experience it, in the first place. When I’m mad about a less than stellar test score, I need to ask myself if this really is going to have any eternal significance. So, I’m going to climb right out of this pit of self pity I’ve been lying in lately and start living with the joy I should be. I’m going to stop letting my suffering overpower my love and joy.

Deacon Thom was talking about people encountering the joy of the early Christians and portrayed a brief little scenario with us that I will share now.

Random person: “Why are you so joyful?”

Christian person: “Because I’m a CHRISTIAN!!”

Random person: “…woah…”

I want people to see my joy and know that there is something different. I want them to see me loving others even when I’m going through trials of my own. I want them to ask me what’s going on and I want to be able to tell them that I have genuine joy because of the love of my savior. I want them to want what I have in Christ simply because they have seen the way I love and am filled with joy. I am going to stop letting the hard timestake over me. Amen.

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