“As we grow older, we hurt more, fear more, and experience more. We become sensitive, more vulnerable, more acquainted with the sorrows and griefs of others. But can hurt, fear, and sorrow be joyous? As we learn to perceive more of life and feel needs more keenly, we become more realistic, more reality oriented. It is a fundamental truth that reality, and the accurate perception of it, is therapeutic even if it does hurt. This is because as we perceive more fully, we are also able to experience our joys more fully. And for Christians, there is much more joy than sorrow. This must be what Paul meant when he told us to count it all joy when we find ourselves in tribulation. If Paul hadn’t proved that he believed this, he would long ago have been written off as a masochistic nut.
“Some people can’t afford to be joyful. They are so busy guarding themselves against hurt while working out their salvation, they forget that joy is part of the Christian experience. If they felt joy, they would also feel hurt, and then they might lose their cool. How about you? Do you find it better to be miserable than to lose your cool? Think again. Maybe your cool is preventing an experience of grace. You might consider letting God have your cool, too.
“You can find joy in the long straight flight of a golf ball, in the smile of a daughter who just beat her best record in the local pool, and in a cool evening breeze. And when the car runs out of gas on the freeway at rush hour in 98-degree weather, maybe you’ll learn to find joy in that, too. I only know life is a lot richer when I open my emotions to God who is involved in everything. When we fearlessly let God in on all our feelings, He redeems us and sets us free – free to sense all that in His omniscience He has provided for us.”
“Do I Have To Be Me?”, Lloyd H. Ahlem, 1973, Regal Books, Gospel Light Publications.