Often my relationship with God and how I see Him is blurred because the struggles of life rob me of my joy in living.
Life is sapped out of me. I find myself coming home at the end of a day, driving into the driveway, switching the car off and not having the courage or the energy to get out the car and enter the house.
The thought of the sheer monotony of having to cook supper, the drudgery of washing dishes, life itself, overwhelms me and with every fibre of my being I want to push my foot down on the accelerator and just keep driving.
It is in those times when we are tired of loving a God who feels so distant, tired of struggling with an illness or depression or addiction, tired of living, that we need to make a concentrated effort to remember that love and faith are not feelings, they are acts of our will. We need to make the effort to allow God’s light to shine into our lives.
The One who took the world’s pain and suffering upon Himself didn’t do so that we would live a blurred life. He died an agonising death in order that we could live lives of clarity, faithfulness and joy knowing that the best is yet to come.
And as I sit in my car and reflect on these things, my foot slowly lifts off the accelerator, and I remember again that my joy does not depend on any external circumstances, or on my feelings and emotions.
“God, alone, is my joy and my delight” (Psalm 43:4).
He came “to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair”. (Isaiah 61:3)
Gracious Lord, grant to each one of us your joy. Fill us with your Holy Spirit so that during our times of depression, doubts and anguish we will know your peace, grant us courage to live boldly and to see you clearly.