We all know people who are easy to be around and bring us joy. This doesn’t mean these people don’t have struggles. They do. I believe their recipe for success is they take their concerns to God first instead of burdening other human beings with them. Yes, we were made to live in community together and to support one another. I’m not saying we shouldn’t ever share our struggles. We just should approach God first. What good is it to seek out from another human what only God can give?
Another thought on this verse is I know what it feels like to visit the crushed spirits. I feel I’ve been crushed too. Emotions are heavy especially when we love people and enter into their pain and suffering. This is hard but it’s ministry.
I’m reminded of Robin Williams who made us all laugh while he was alive. He lived with a crushed spirit and took his own life. I remember the shock I felt that the man who yelled out, “Good Mornin Vietnam!” over the radio in a movie that bears that title. The whole movie was about how we have the power to lift someone’s spirit and boost morale or crush people. There’s many we can name who make us laugh but are depressed inside and hide it well because they are so funny. So those who seem to have joy can be the saddest among us.
Joy is so different than happiness. Happiness comes and goes but joy is a gift from God that remains in the heart no matter the circumstance. We know even on the saddest days that we will be ok when we have given our lives over to God. God frees us from the never ending chase after happiness. Joy and contentment only come from God. What a fool I am when I trade negativity for joy.
Let’s allow God to give us joy despite our crushed spirits because this is contagious! It’s like medicine. Who doesn’t love a giant belly deep laugh with friends and family? Who doesn’t love noticing the sweet small things that we’d otherwise miss like a butterfly? Can we commit to being joyful hearts? I think we like to fake it till we make it but I wonder if Robin Williams might tell us that won’t work?