From the moment I awake until the moment I close my eyes to sleep, there is a spirit of melancholy that slowly eats away at my joy. These days, there is never a moment in which I am overwhelmed with a prolonged sense of happiness; it is usually here and then gone, much like the morning fog burnt away by the scorching summer heat. Every new day is a fight for joy. But how does one fight an enemy which he does not see? Depression is not like a piñata, tied to a tree while a blinded folded child swings wildly at it. Instead, it is like chasing shadows, hoping to catch one. Depression is not a respecter of persons. It does not pick its prey based solely on difficult situations we may have faced in life. It cares not if you are young or old, rich or poor, male or female. It does not ask for permission before it wreaks havoc in one’s life.
So I ask Where does joy come from? For me, joy is found in Christ. But if my joy is found in Christ, why as a believer do I seem to struggle to maintain it in my life? Why do other believers seem to be oozing joy while I am starving for joy? Does not Christ want me to be joyful? I look at Scripture and see all kinds of passages that state God’s desire for his people to be joyful. I cannot help but look at these and wonder what is going on with me? I do not desire to have this melancholy eat away at me; I want to be joyful! I want to wake and find my heart singing with praise and grateful to have the day before me. To be honest, I do not even remember the last time I awoke to a feeling of joy. Instead, I am reminded of the reality of the mistakes from my youth which never cease to haunt me.
This is not a happy post. And I am sure that some will read this and wonder why I would be so open and transparent. Simple answer: I just needed to vent! Writing in a journal is fine if I had one, but no one would read that expect me. So, I write also for prayer, advice, Scripture, hope. At times I feel alone in this journey towards Christ-likeness. While the rest of the pilgrims are together in their march towards the heavenly Jerusalem, I have somehow found a way to get separated from them. Like a lost sheep separated from the flock, I need you, great Shepherd, to come and find me.
Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning (Ps 30.5).