If you’re a Christian, perhaps you feel guilty when life gets you down. I know I do. When life starts to get the better of me, it’s easy to wonder if something is wrong with my Christian walk or if I’m lacking faith. I tell myself that I have nothing to complain about, that there are people out there with “real” problems and I need to pull myself up by my bootstraps and count my blessings.
A few weeks ago, I was really in a blue funk. In fact, I was in a funk for a while. If you’re a regular reader, I’m sure you could tell. I’m feeling better now, but one day not too long ago a friend made an innocent comment, and I promptly burst into tears. Of course she asked me what was wrong. I just shook my head. I couldn’t think of a single thing in my life that is “wrong”. I said hopelessly, “I don’t know. I have everything I ever wanted.”
That comment spawned an interesting conversation that has continued via email after the fact. Why do we sometimes feel down even when “nothing’s wrong”? Maybe we just need to get our priorities straight. Are we placing our hope in the things of this world instead of the things of God? Have we allowed health and security to become idols in our lives? Are we looking to those those things, rather than to God for our ultimate fulfillment?
Those are all valid questions that deserve some reflection, but you know what? Life is hard. We live in a fallen world. Even if we aren’t dealing with health issues or financial difficulties or grief, the day-to-day grind is full of toil and strife. Knowing the saving grace of Christ doesn’t make us immune to the ills of hormones and seasonal mood fluctuations and bickering children. Just because we’re not always overflowing with joy doesn’t mean we don’t have our trust firmly planted in the Lord.
I know where my hope lies, but sometimes life is just tedious. I get so tired of the whining, the nagging, the bickering, the clutter, the dirty dishes and dirty clothes that seem to multiply exponentially. In addition to all that, I’m getting old. The grays are proliferating, my skin looks tired, my metabolism has dried up and died. Stop the ride! I’m ready to get off.
Fortunately spring DOES come, both literally and figuratively. But I’ve decided that it’s okay if things aren’t always sunshine and roses. They aren’t supposed to be. I mean, they actually ARE supposed to be, or they WERE before the Fall, but I promise not to get all theological on you. The point is, in this imperfect world sometimes we will get burned out, feel lackluster, struggle to find the joy. And maybe that’s okay.
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DISCLAIMER: I don’t mean to suggest that there isn’t a time or a place for medical intervention. If you have a serious long-term issue, or you feel that you may be clinically depressed, seeking medical help is in no way a copout. Also, ladies, if you’re having trouble with lack of energy or inexplicable weight gain (not to be confused, of course, with a winter of overindulgence and wearing sweatpants too often, ahem) getting a thorough blood workup could reveal a thyroid issue or something else that can be easily treated.