I have felt true joy in my life, and I have felt real sadness and even anguish. I will tell you that the joy has come from associations with friends and family; through serving, loving and getting to know people. Even with sadness, and anguish felt in losses, I have still been able to be comforted when I have turned to the Lord, because He delivers peace and sustains us through each hour that we are in need.
When we realize that our greatest joys come through our associations with one another, and through hard work that family members do to support and sustain one another, and when we realize that the very love that we develop through those associations will feed us with joy even in times of sorrow; then our greatest efforts should be in nurturing our relationships, building one another up, and sustaining each other through all our joys and sorrow, whether the road is rocky, we are on a roller coaster, or we are experiencing smooth sailing.
True anguish and despair need not debilitate us or rob us of our hope and joy. If they do, then we have chosen to put trust (or lack of trust) in man rather than showing faith in God; and we have also chosen to wallow instead of to climb. If we choose to climb, there will always be a hand that reaches out for ours to pull and lift us higher until we can break through the clouds and enjoy the sunlight once again.
It might help for each of us to take inventory or our own lives. What brings us joy? What causes us sorrow? What things can we change? How can we feel happiness and peace? Is it unrealistic to want everything to go just our way all the time? What do we choose to do when things are beyond our own control? How do we respond when we are disappointed? How do we respond when others attain success? Have we learned how to have hope and trust in good things to come? Do we place unrealistic projections on others or on the future? Do we choose to be humble? Do we choose to place our faith in God? Do we move forward with certainty even when we don’t feel certain? Do we have enough courage to give ourselves and others the benefit of the doubt? Do we know that we can get up again even with skinned knees or broken teeth? Do we lash out at others when we feel uncertain? Or, do we hold hands and move forward together?
Life is not static, but love and devotion can be. And therein lies our happiness.