This past week has been a pretty difficult one for me and husband. Maybe I’ll be able to talk about it in more detail someday, but not now. Anyways, I’m sure all of you have also gone through trying periods in your life – where you’ve felt deep insecurity about your work or school or relationships, suffered a loss, felt paralyzed and fearful, been lonely or hopeless, felt completely overwhelmed, etc.
When I was feeling really lonely and discouraged during my first semester of med school, a friend (John Lee, for those of you who knew him) shared some words with me about joy that I haven’t forgotten. Here is the original email, and I hope that you can be encouraged by it as I have been over the years:
“The hard thing about ‘joy’ is that it’s often more of a choice than a feeling, and it can exist without the feelings in some strange way. But, man, there are times when you wish the feelings of joy would also accompany the choice of joy. No matter what happens, Eleasa, I hope you continue to choose joy when feelings and circumstances urge you to do otherwise. Happiness reacts to temporary events. Joy remembers things that are permanent and do not change — His love for us experienced through His Word, His Spirit, and His people. So I hope you choose to remember the things that last forever. I will pray that you choose joy.”
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Cor 4:16-18