Sara is fresh out of her Disney Princess stage… and it’s heartbreaking.
I loved that era! I enjoyed watching her excitement as we dined with the Princesses in Disney World. I remember watching her wave furiously to Jasmine from the train, yelling her name. She made it a mission to collect every signature she could during our week stay in Florida.
Anything Princess was of interest to her, but some people began to make fun of her for “still” liking them.
So slowly… almost undetectable… the joy she received from them waned. Little by little, the excitement and imagination they used to stir up became less and less.
Until it disappeared all together.
This provides a perfect example of how easily our joy can be taken away. We get drained of it without even realizing it’s happened… until it’s too late.
Sure, there are those times your joy is siphoned in a nano-second.
- Maybe it’s a phone call from the doctor’s office
- Maybe it’s a pink slip from the office
- It could be an accident or natural disaster
- Maybe it’s a discovery of deep betrayal from your spouse or friend
However… most of the time, it’s a slow leak over weeks or months and you wake up one morning and discover it’s gone.
I’ve been working through a joy-draining time in my life. I remember a day not too long ago when I woke up empty… completely dry. Looking back, I can see how events over the past several months coupled with some surprising and hurtful words (or lack of words, in some cases) were slowly draining me of joy… until I eventually hit “empty.”
But God… right?
Psalm 94:16-19 says… “Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers? Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.”
When we are face-to-face with joy drainers… be it a person or a situation… be it immediate or over time… God will be there to fill us back up.
Psalm 126:3 reminds us that “The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” He is The joy-filler.
He alone fills our tank.
The next time you find yourself empty, joyless and sad… think of all the great things God has done for you.
Here is my short list:
- God restored my marriage when it was on divorce’s doorstep
- God gave me children when we were told we couldn’t have them
- God healed me of a life-threatening disease
- God provided for us through tough financial times
- God redeemed a life broken and in shambles
- God forgave me MY sins
I wonder what your list would look like…
When the joy-drainers invade, allow God to restore you by revisiting all the “great things” He has done for you. Before you know it, your joy will be restored, and you’ll be running on a full tank again.