Let them be glad in God’s presence.
Let them be filled with joy.
Psalm 68:3 (NLT)
When we are suffering from sadness, it is hard to smile let alone be joyful. We often feel guilty to have or show a little joy because of our distorted thinking process. Sometimes we are so miserable, it becomes easier not to smile, and sometimes we just forget how. It doesn’t feel natural.
When my oldest two girls were little, my husband would try to make me laugh during my depression, and he encouraged the girls to play along.
“Where is mommy’s sense of humor?” Kevin would say. “Has anybody seen it?”
The girls would giggle and pretend they were looking for it. They would follow his lead looking under the sofa. “No, it’s not there,” they would say. “It must be in mommy’s sock drawer.”
I was usually in my miserable state of mind. But they would continue until I at least cracked a smile. Annoyed, I usually laughed a little because they were so darn cute. Thank God for Kevin’s sense of humor over the years. But I remember fighting it. I wanted to wallow in my depressed state. Leave me alone and let me be, I thought. Most times it took everything in me to put on a happy face in social gatherings. It was exhausting to hold up that mask. I actually got pretty good at hiding my depression when I needed to. Of course, church was a different story. It was usually very hard to keep it together when a sermon touched a nerve, or a song would trigger the tears. Many days I couldn’t hold it together. Sometimes I cried for days. I don’t know why I felt guilty about finding joy. Maybe I felt so bad about myself in the midst of my sadness that I didn’t think I deserved to have times of joy.
Guess what? It is ok to feel and express times of joy! You deserve it. God wants you to have joy in His presence.
I often felt the most peaceful when I listened to some music I liked. It is those times—even if we are alone in the car—to sing for joy to the Lord because He has given us another day. Be thankful for that. Sing at the top of your lungs! Be joyful in His presence. It is even ok to feel joy around other people.
I must confess that today, sometimes I leap around the house flinging my arms like a ballerina. The kids laugh at me. I call it “fairy dancing.” It’s quite fun and difficult not to smile and laugh while I’m doing it. It brings joy. Try it when no one is looking. Then encourage others to join you.
- Do you feel the need to fairy dance today?
- It’s ok to experience joy when you are depressed. Don’t fight it.
Thank You for joy and laughter. Remind me constantly it is ok to smile and laugh. I deserve to be joyful. Sometimes, Father, it is really hard to do find joy in the pit of despair. Bring me joy, Lord. Thank you!
In Jesus’ name, I ask,