Joy and Sorrow

Posted by on Oct 31, 2012 in Faith, Mental Health | 1 comment

“Some of you say, ‘Joy is greater than sorrow,’ and others say, ‘Nay, sorrow is the greater.’
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.” Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

The top of my home page says “It’s about finding joy in the little things.” Sometimes I think about removing it because I wonder if it makes sense to my readers – I write about a lot of things and not all of them seem to relate to finding joy in the little things. I choose to keep it there because it serves as a reminder to me of why I write, and more importantly, how I want to live. Life is hard right now. When I see “It’s about finding joy in the little things,” each time I write about my life, thoughts, or experiences, it reminds me that what I’m really saying is “There’s still so much joy, even in pain, when I take time to notice it.” It reminds me that every day I have a choice – will I let my problems wreak havoc on my life and spirit, or will I choose joy on purpose? I choose joy. I choose to purpose to look for joy each day. I choose to focus on what’s joyful and wonderful in my life instead of what’s sad and hard. I choose to stay connected to the source of my joy, my God, because the joy of the Lord is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Most importantly, I choose to find the joy that arises as a direct result of my struggles, and surprisingly, that has been easier than I could have imagined.

Paradoxically, joy and sorrow go together. I can think back over many difficult experiences in my life that led to a tremendous blessing. Looking back, I know that I wouldn’t trade the suffering because it produced something wonderful.

“The source of anguish can morph into joy. This is not a swap but a transformation, wherein the same thing that gave you a nightmare becomes your source of joy. The very thing that was your horror becomes something so very dear that you can not imagine what you would do without it.” Beth Moore

Even in the midst of my trials, I can identify so much good that has arisen from the pain. Really, the trials have changed me in ways I would not want to undo. I wouldn’t trade what has happened because I don’t want to be the same person I was before. I would not do without my new passions birthed from a greater sense of compassion for people who are hurting.

“God will take your pain and turn it into your passion…passion from pain is a gift from God.” Beth Moore

“If you will trust God with your anguish, it will birth something precious to you.” Beth Moore

This is not to say that I stuff all of my emotions down inside and turn a blind eye to difficulties in an attempt to deny they exist. On the contrary, the anguish often becomes overwhelming and I cry my eyes and heart out to God for help. I am in a battle, mostly in prayer, to see difficult circumstances transformed and removed from my life. But it’s taking a while and I refuse to let my life be ruined in the process – I refuse to let my joy be stolen.

“I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.” 2 Corinthians 7:4

I find it easy to keep this irrepressible joy alive because I really do believe to the depths of my being that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28) – I believe it because it says so in the Bible, and I believe it because I see it in my life. I believe and have experienced that trials, hardships, and heartaches can become the most beautiful things and make the most beautiful people. Pain produces.

“The things we try to avoid and fight against – tribulation, suffering and persecution – are the very things that produce abundant joy in us. Huge waves that would frighten the ordinary swimmer produce a tremendous thrill for the surfer who has ridden them. ‘We are more than conquerors through Him IN all these things’ – not in spite of them, but in the midst of them. A saint doesn’t know the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation, but because of it. Paul said ‘I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.'” Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

“You did not know you were in labor, but all of this was labor. Maybe at the peak of the pain the baby is just about to get here – are you really going to give up right before the baby is born?” Beth Moore

Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.” John 16:20

One Comment

  1. Great post C! Always refreshing (water for the soul) when reading your posts!

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