What about depression? Personally I don’t care much for it and don’t intend to stay bogged in it any longer than it takes me to realize that I’m in it – and everybody has a choice – to a degree. There are many very good reasons to be depressed but it seems to me that some folks go to every extreme to expand their horizons in that respect. Days, weeks, months and even years have been wasted in depression because folks perceive life as not giving them what they really want and feel they deserve. From my perception that’s not a good reason, because no matter how joyful a person is, if they wander out into a thunderstorm of ‘wanting’ and ‘deserving’, they are likely to get hit with some splats of disillusionment.
Maybe some folks look too much at the big things and not enough at the little – plus they are not awed or amazed very much at either. I have a very simple outlook – some might say that it goes with the mind involved – as well as simple wants and can be awed, amazed and joyed (it’s a verb too) by the most minute or routine of things. Recently my wife and I saw a small flock of a dozen or so sparrows feeding on someone’s leftovers in the parking lot of Sam’s. To me this was God’s way of caring and feeding them and that awed me and gave me joy, because if He cares that much for them, how much more does He love me.
Joy can be found in the laughter of a child, or their hugs and kisses – especially if they are “grands”. I joy in that certain look my wife gives me that can shout out “I love you” to my consciousness - even from across the room. I delight in being able to repair and/or adjust things to bring them back to working order. Also in seeing the ground crack open as garden seeds start to sprout in spring. The picking of the first ripe garden tomato, squash or cucumber of the summer is a joy. I find enjoyment in the yearly pruning of the muscadine vines in the winter.
There is joy to be had even in smells and after all we need to stop every now and then and smell the pepperoni. A particular favorite of mine is the smell of fresh baked anything - especially cinnamon rolls. The bakery they have in the mall now smells pretty good, but the place they used to have on the first floor had a smell that would reach out and grab you by the nose. It was almost like you didn’t have a choice, if you got into the smell zone, cinnamon rolls had to be purchased. There must have been some lust and/or addiction involved in there somewhere.
But the depths or heights of joy cannot be truly defined or explained outside of the spiritual realm. This because the real joy is placed inside us at the time our sins are forgiven. Rejoice is another word best defined in the spiritual sense. Rejoicing is so much more than the momentary rush of gladness that your side won some physical contest or that a fortuitous occurrence happened in your life.
What is the relationship between joy and rejoicing? The answer starts with another question. How does one express an inexpressible joy? To rejoice would be a good start. Rejoicing in the Lord will not only show outwardly the joy inside, but can have the effect of stirring some up, if perchance it has gone dormant, has been misplaced or been stolen altogether. Even if you feel everything has gone wrong and there is absolutely nothing to be remotely happy or joyful about, the Word still says to rejoice. That almost doesn’t leave any room for the mulligrubs. ec