The Ups and Downs

Isn’t it crazy how your mood can drastically change from week to week? And day to day? And second to second?

I like to be able to feel happy constantly and when I’m not I feel a bit like I’m failing. So when I’m not happy, I then get even unhappier, which then results in more unhappiness… a bit of a vicious circle isn’t it?

What is it about us that we like to appear like we’re loving life all the time to people around us? Or is that just me? What does it mean to just be able to be real with people?

I was having a meal with friends the other day, and the usual ‘what have you done today?’ question came up.

What had I done? Written some bible studies on Colossians, spoke to some supporters, had supervision and looked at Genesis and there I was currently at a meeting about starting youth work at church. It was only then when I recited my day that I realised how actually great it was. And why was I reciting it like it was something I’d been made to write about at school? One of those hated tasks of ‘write about your holiday’… and suddenly what seemed a great holiday at the time, was suddenly talked about as the worst thing on earth. And I thought why do I feel so rubbish? Just look at that day!

Settling into the steady flow of life definitely comes with its ups and downs.

I know people see me as a pretty happy person, and don’t worry, I’m not in a pit of despair! Just thinking about what it means to be real? And what it means to find joy in everyday tasks? And not take them for granted? And is it ok to be brought down by different things? And to have those rubbish days where you just want to curl up in a ball?

It gets me thinking… Was Jesus always happy?

He had eternal joy in the Father and the Spirit, joy was part of his being. But as far as I can see, that didn’t mean that everyday things didn’t effect him. He got angry in the market place, he got sad, I’m sure he got disappointed, he cried over Lazurus’ death, he felt despair and loneliness and everything that we feel today. He was clearly effected by life around him. He wouldn’t be human if that wasn’t the case.

But he had eternal joy.

‘The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.’ (Galatians 5:22)

And if we are in Christ, then the Spirit that is in Christ is also in us. Which means that joy is actually a part of our being. It is something that we have been given. It’s not something I have to continually work at bringing up. It actually is in me.

And from thinking about Jesus’ life and life effecting his emotions, I know that it’s ok to be up and down too. And I can go to God with that and he understands. He knows exactly what it is like. I don’t need to run away because I’m not feeling 100% happy, I can run to him and he will always joyfully be there pouring out his joyful Spirit on me.

And how much better is that, than the results of curling up in a ball and pretending that life isn’t there??