When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. — Rumi
Every once in a while, when someone decides to get honest, I hear some real, raw questions: “Why do I feel like I'm faking this Christian life? I was happy when I got saved, but I've lost my joy. What am I doing wrong?”
Hey, if you feel that way, I don't think you're doing anything wrong. Life with Christ is all about showing—not us showing off, but letting Jesus show from within us. Paul likened it to a pregnancy.
Most pregnancies start out with real joy. New life is growing. Sure, someone might vomit. Clothes don't fit, skin gets stretched. Then there's the day you can't see your toes. You know they are still there because you can wiggle them—but see them or touch them? Forget it.
Lost joy is sort of the same. Joy is still there. It's a product of the Spirit who lives in you. But sometimes your concerns obstruct the life of the Spirit. And you're left wondering, Didn't I used to have joy?
The ebb and flow of joy that you've experienced—it happened to the early church in Galatia too. Paul writes to them,
What has happened to all your joy? (Galatians 4:15a NIV 1984)
Joy was there. But something shifted. This group of people who once went out of their way to care for him, now treated Paul as an enemy. This church that once danced in the joy of freedom, now lived beneath the burden of legalism.
So how can you be joyful again?
Well, there is only one thing to do when you can't see your toes—wiggle them and make sure they're still around. Thus, there's one thing you can do when you can't feel your joy: Let your Jesus show.
Let Him live through you again. Reach up to Him with empty hands and an open mind. Tell Him you are willing to let Him show through you. Open your hands in generosity, invite someone over for dinner, reach out at church even if you feel you don't fit. Anticipate Jesus as He shows Himself to others through you. It won't take long to realize your joy is still living in you—because He is that joy!
Lord, sometimes my own worries and concerns distract me from the truth that Your Spirit is in me. However, just because I can't see You doesn't mean You aren't there. Let Your love flow from me like a current so I might have ever-present joy. I'm listening; I'm watching; I'm ready to let You show Yourself to someone in need today. Amen.