. Psalm 30:5 NLT
I had not suffered loss, nor had a doctor delivered a life-threatening speech—yet I grieved.
I had experienced the most life-altering experience I had ever encountered. I didn’t ask for it, but it came anyway. I didn’t want it, but I could not make it go away. I wanted to change the circumstances, but I couldn’t.
I did what Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, in her book, On Death and Dying, proposed people do when they grieve. I went through the five stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance—and discovered the truth of her proposals. We may not go through them in the above particular order—and we may waver back and forth between the stages—but pass through them we will.
So I denied. This can’t be happening to me. I’ve done everything right, followed all the rules, acted as a good boy should. Why me? But there came a time when I could no longer deny reality. This was it. My new identity. I had to face the challenge and move forward.
I got angry. Not so much at God—even though He did have the power to change my circumstances. In fact, He could have prevented them. But He didn’t. My anger stemmed because I had done everything right but got hurt anyway.
I bargained. God, if you make this go away, I’ll do anything You ask. I thought I was already doing what God wanted me to do, but I could change directions … be a better person … do more than I was already doing. Whatever it took to change this unpleasant reality into something better.
Then depression set in. I didn’t know it, but the doctor knew. My repeated trips to the emergency room with symptoms that tests proved false clued him in. “Take the medicine, and stop going to the emergency room,” he told me on one such visit. I did.
Finally, I accepted my new reality. I couldn’t change the decisions of another. I had to move on. Adapt. Overcome.
Upon acceptance, joy came in the morning, just as it did for the psalmist. God proved faithful. I didn’t enjoy my circumstances—and they didn’t change—but my perspective did. This was my new life, and I had to make the best of it.
Whatever your circumstances, let God bring you joy in the morning.
Prayer: Father, we ask for joy in the morning—regardless of our circumstances.
Tweetable: Where does your joy come from?
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