“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).
Illness can rob us of many things. One of the things it can steal from us is our joy.
Often today I find myself struggling to reclaim enjoyment in the things that once brought me joy. Not necessarily big things, but the little things in life, like a good book, a good meal, time with friends and family. But continued disappointments and frustrations can steal away our joy. Illness can make holding on to our joy seem an impossibility.
Whether with the large or small things of life, it can be a continual struggle to find enjoyment in our illness-affected lives. Fatigue, depression, pain, anxiety, and endless frustrations can accompany our afflictions and make it seem impossible to enjoy anything.
Limitations, sometimes increasing limitations, can make even small tasks challenging. Yet I believe we need to find things we can do and enjoy within the scope of our illnesses and disabilities. Hobbies, interests, small pleasures, things that will cultivate joy and enjoyment in our lives.
I will not tell you that rediscovering, or reclaiming joy in your life will be an easy accomplishment. For an ongoing parade of disappointments can create an attitude of expecting the worst and ignoring the best things in life. Our focus can become so fixed on the bad and terrible issues in life, causing us to overlook the joyful, good things in life.
I think we need continual infusions of joy. A good place to begin is by looking up, and asking God to restore our joy. Ask the Lord to open our eyes to the good things in our lives, and help us to see beyond the disappointments and frustrations common to our afflictions.
Perhaps you too are finding it challenging to maintain your joy. I believe if we ask the Lord to help us, we can take back the joy that illness has stolen from us.
Prayer: Dear Lord, joy seems so far from us that it is unreachable, bring it to us again, and help us to walk in joy. Amen.
About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. He is determined to keep illness from stealing his joy, with the Lord’s help.
Do you feel like your joy has been stolen? Would you like to get it back again? Ask the Lord to help you reclaim your stolen joy.
Ready for a bit of joy? This video is the song, “Jesus, What a Wonderful Child” with Kelly Clarkson and Fantasia Barrio. (Yes, former American Idol winners.) They know how to sing His praises and I hope it gives you a joy burst today. When is the last time you got up and danced just because Jesus is King? -Lisa