I have something to confess. I’ve been avoiding my blog. It hasn’t been intentional, and I am only just now realizing it. And I think I know why.
My life is so wonderful.
That probably doesn’t sound like a good reason to avoid writing to an audience, but hear me out.
My life is so wonderful, in fact, that I feel guilty about it. Guilty to the point that I haven’t wanted to share the good stuff. I know that sounds odd, and I’m just now finding words to pinpoint this feeling. I watch people around me struggling with various deep and real hurts, both close friends and the world at large, and it makes me feel guilty for how blessed I am. One of my spiritual gifts is that of mercy – being sensitive toward those who are suffering, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally, so as to feel genuine sympathy with their misery, speaking words of compassion but more so caring for them with deeds of love to help alleviate their distress. Acting in this capacity – listening, comforting, encouraging, and empathizing – is one of my greatest joys.
In this world full of pain, I can’t help but wonder why I’ve been given this bounty of blessing. But then I am reminded that I have walked through heartaches in the past, and that I’m allowed – called, even – to be thankful for the place that I am in now. We are each on our own journey, and there’s no reason to feel lacking if mine doesn’t look like yours. Life naturally ebbs and flows with both favorable and unfavorable seasons, and maybe God put me in this place of gratitude so that I can minister to the bruised and tender spots on others. I am blessed so that I might be a blessing to those around me.
God gave me this epiphany last night – he wants me to be joyful. In fact, it is a gift from Him, one of the very fruits of Christian life. I don’t have to stifle my joy. No need to minimize it for fear of disrespecting the tough circumstances around me. The same way I can use my painful experiences to relate to others, I can use my joy to point to God and His goodness. I have much to be thankful for, and I can openly thank Him for it. He doesn’t want me to dim my light, He wants me to shine it brightly for the whole world to see.
I am renewed by His words of encouragement, for this reminder to not be ashamed of the good times, but to rejoice as they occur. Amen and amen.