What Do I Do When My Joy Is Gone?
By Chuck Robinson
MA, LADC/MH, CSAT, National Director of Christian Programming and Outreach
My mom used to say, “You can get glad in the same britches you got mad in.”
My loss of joy usually comes from me allowing an external circumstance to affect my mood. Somehow, some way, something in this world, as I see it, goes awry. It snows when I have a picnic planned, it rains on a children’s soccer game. These things are external issues over which I have absolutely no control, and yet a lack of control steals my joy. How do I get out of that mess?
Gratitude is the attitude of thankfulness (Ephesians 5:20). It can be a response to external circumstances that I have zero power to control, like watching a child when he takes his first steps, being mesmerized as the trees change from green to orange and red, or taking part in a recovery meeting at a local clubhouse to see God’s miracles. Joy is an inside job. It starts at the core of my being.
(Nehemiah 8:10; Psalm 20:5) The Lord gives us a peace that passes all understanding, that of which we can constantly tap into. (Philippians 4:7) This peace and joy is not based upon the external circumstances, but is attached to our internal peace.
This peace and joy sees the small things in life, like a fire in the fireplace, the heater coming on when it is cold outside, the car starting in the morning. It’s the little things. This joy is acquired from knowing who I am and being content with that person. Our lives are like a broken vase that has been put back together by the glue of our Lord, through his Holy Spirit. Struggles in life will continue to happen, but how we respond to those struggles is directly related to the maintenance of our spiritual programs (Big Book, pg. 85, Into Action, Chapter 6).
One can find joy by just being still and knowing that He is God (Psalm 46:10).
Joy is in that place that only God lives and can be found in all of our external circumstances. Being able to find that place in the midst of a storm is sometimes difficult, but always rewarding after you get there. Smile when it’s hard to smile, reach out and address those who are unlovable. Even when you don’t want to, do the task in front of you because it’s the right thing to do rather than an obligation. Seeking joy in our life begins with a simple humble attitude and willingness to seek that power greater than ourselves in the smallest things in life. As a humble person, go get you some of that JOY!
Choose a better life. Choose recovery.