Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 NIV
Have you ever felt flat? Perhaps you might call it dryness or dullness. It’s not depression or discouragement; it’s just a sense of being inert, or static as opposed to dynamic. Sometimes we call it the blahs.
Being flat can occur after a prolonged time of expectation working toward a particular goal or event. It can occur after an unusual expenditure of energy. And it can happen to anyone.
If you’re past twenty-one years of age, you know that life is not all that proverbial bowl of cherries, and that there are days (sometimes even prolonged periods) without inspiration or bursts of insight. In fact, it seems that much of life consists of “walking without fainting” rather than “mounting up with wings as eagles.”
I was deep in contemplation this morning about the great thought behind flatness. Why ever should we who are so blessed ever feel flat? Any of us should be able to candidly sit down and list a dozen or more reasons to be joyful, and yet we experience times that are much less than joyous.
That’s where faith comes in. Happiness, we know, is based on happenings, on the circumstances of our lives: My child was inducted into the National Honor Society; my dog won Best of Show; my garden got the neighborhood award. And so forth… On the other hand, joy comes from that deep sense of relationship to Jesus Christ, of knowing he loves and cares for us, that he never leaves us, that he forgives our sins, and that he wants to spend eternity with us.
The happiness that’s circumstantial is transitory. Joy never goes away. The flat days are gifts to remind us that the eternal is not based on what we see, hear, feel, touch, or taste. Joy is forever and can be accessed no matter how dark the day when we touch reality, God’s Spirit within us. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes…”
Father, now I thank you for flatness, for reminding me that I shouldn’t put hope in the things that are only temporary. Thank you that your joy is always with us and is merely a foretaste of what’s to come. AMEN.