Yesterday was the most challenging day of lockdown for me so far. I was feeling really down and not really wanting to face the world. Things started to look up when we had our exec meeting over Zoom. Seeing smiling faces, sharing some laughs and having a nice WhatsApp call with a friend afterwards really started to make me feel quite a bit better. This morning, before getting stuck into sermon prep, Cammie and I laughed together while we watched a silly YouTube video and that continued to pick up my mood. The past two days have once again been a reminder of just how powerful laughter can be in our lives. And just before beginning to type this up today I was reminded of an impromptu dance session our family had with Seth to Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild,” among other classics, about two nights ago.
Laughter and dance can be an elixir for our current circumstances and while reflecting on these experiences I came across these words in Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 4.
1 There is an occasion for everything,
and a time for every activity under heaven:
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance;
I definitely see these occasions I shared with others as an incredible grace from God to pick me up in a trying time which I am super grateful for. But this got me thinking, “What can help pick me up in the future if these joyful moments don’t happen?” While doing some reading on the topic of joy I came across an article on Got Questions entitled: How can I experience joy in my Christian life? The following paragraph really stood out to me and which helped answer my question:
The first thing is to realize that joy is a gift from God. The root word for joy in the Greek is chara, which is closely related with the Greek charis for “grace.” Joy is both a gift of God as well as a response to the gifts of God. Joy comes when we are aware of God’s grace and relish His favor. With this in mind, it’s evident that one way to experience joy is to focus on God. Rather than dwelling on our difficulties or those things robbing our contentment, we can dwell on God. This is not to say we should deny our discontent or stuff negative emotions. Following the example of many of the psalmists, we can pour out our hearts to God. We can tell Him bluntly all the things that ail us. But then we submit those things to Him, remember who He is, and are happy in Him.
Joy is always available in God through the Holy Spirit and we can access that joy by dwelling on God no matter what we are going through. So if you are going through a bit of trying time like me, maybe try and find some opportunities to have a laugh or throw on some music and dance (everyone can no matter how bad you think it is!) But above all – focus on God! He is the only constant source of joy we all need draw from more often.