"You will go out in Joy."
-- Isaiah 55:11 (NIV)
My day started as a typical one as I went about my tasks. However, when I placed the towels in the dryer to find out it wasn't working, I noticed my frustration level starting to rise. Next, I went to start my car, only to find my battery was dead. Then I had a flare up in physical symptoms from a chronic health problem, and my body and mind nagged me.
Haven't we all had those days when everything seems to annoy us?
However, after my initial frustration, I decided to turn to the principles God has made available in the Bible. From past experience, I realized I could drain or deepen my delight. In the pages of God's promises, I identified some key delight drainers and delight deepeners to help us discover some joy amid the hardships of life.
Delight drainers are those annoyances and deep-seated problems that drain our energy and deplete our hope and joy on a daily basis. They are the negative devils of excessive worry that sit on our shoulders and make us feel life will never get better. Other times, it's dreading a difficult task or thought of going to work that day, or even worse, confronting an issue with ourselves or someone else.
When our attitude is negative, we can just feel the delight draining from our souls with every negative thought and critical word.
Oftentimes, when we're too busy or overcommitted, we're too frantic to enjoy life's pleasures. Other times, we're so addicted to the approval of others that the least disagreement makes us sink inside, instead of acknowledging we can agree to disagree.
And when we overthink how to solve our problems, we move from concern to worry which steals our joy.
But God provides us answers to restore our drained souls, if we can wrap our minds around them and initiate them on a regular basis. First, we need to decide to trust God has a plan and an answer for our dilemma. If we really trust, it releases tension and causes our joy to rise again. Forgiveness toward others also frees us from the emotional chains of anger and frustration that are wrapped around our hearts and minds. And confessing our sins to God and asking him for help removes the burden of guilt and condemnation from our sins, and receiving God's forgiveness promotes lasting joy.
• Annettee Budzban is a Christian author, speaker, life coach and nurse. A few seats left at her Feb. 10 conference, "Writing for Fun and Profit." Email Annetteebudzban@aol.com or phone (847) 543-8413 for registration details. Contact Annettee to speak at your church or business or be a personal coach.