Happiness and joy are often contrasted by their depth. Its possible to have the shallow feelings of happiness when you sit down for a three course meal even when you are without joy. Joy is built of security, purpose, hope, peace and love and many times in our lives we find ourselves devoid of one or more of those things but still able to laugh. Conversely, it’s possible to have deep joy when the elements are there yet muster a sour attitude.
Believers have an underlying joy in Christ but it’s a joy that lies just beyond faith. At anytime our security can be yanked out from under us, or the course of our lives- one time so clear -can be blurred. A man who has devoutly put his faith in Christ as his redeemer, can and will find himself from time to time feeling as though life has left him nothing to hope for. Why is this? How can we on one hand vociferously proclaim not only the existence of God, but His complete omnipotence, His unending love and His plan to regenerate and make us new and then on the other hand complain that our trapezeous muscles are rock hard from stress? It is because the joy we have in Christ’s providence can only be tapped into through our faith. We must constantly meditate on the things God promises and trust Him before that joy will effect our lives.
Lately in my own life I find myself needing a new place to live but either not able to find a nice place I can afford on my own or looking at living alone in a place I can afford. This leaves me with a weakened state of security. I find myself getting older and the talent which has given me purpose perhaps not bringing to fruition its potential. My purpose appears weakened. I don’t have a wife or even a girlfriend to give me hope of a family and though I am loved by my immediate family, I have no one to “come home to”. I am not at peace as I watch the days, weeks, months and years pass and it seems like I am missing out on the springtime love of a woman and all the things that go along: buying a house together, having kids, etc. To stay afloat I must rest on the underlying joy that Christ provides. I must have faith or I have nothing.
This all may sound like I’m depressed or something, but I can assure you I’m not. I am mostly a happy person. I find happiness in lot’s of simple things: reading a book on the back patio on a nice morning, a cup of coffee, a day at the river with friends, drawing, playing drums, riding my bike or motorcycle, hiking, deep conversations, etc. Its just that complete joy seems to persistently seclude itself just on the other side of the privacy fence around my life. I feel like if I could just get this one thing or that other thing, I would be in utter bliss. I say “I” but I guess this is common to humanity, right? “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”.
Right now my most pervading desire is companionship and although my heart thinks that will achieve satisfaction, my mind knows better. One desire’s fulfillment is the exposure of another desire. Why are we so needy? Why is contentment not only difficult to find but something we rarely search for?
Again, there is only one fulfillment and He waits still quietly for a knock behind a door called faith.