Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? - Romans 2:4 NLT
Have you ever misplaced your keys? You knew that no one had stolen them, but you had no idea where they were. You searched everywhere you could think of, but you still couldn’t find them?
I had a particular season of my life that was like that. But, instead of losing my keys, I lost my perspective. I was going through a very difficult time in my life where depression and anxiety had become frequent visitors. Nothing seemed to help. Normally, my relationship with God would help me endure and thrive in difficult times, but for some reason it wasn’t. I made the decision to seek counseling, which proved to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I’m naturally a positive person, but during that time in my life I had a difficult time being positive about a lot of things. My counselor suggested an activity. The assignment was to find a jar or bucket and place it in an area of my home where it couldn’t be hidden. At the end of every day, I was to write down one good thing that happened to me that day and put it in the jar. It quickly became a habit that I looked forward to. When New Year’s Eve arrived that year, I found myself alone and feeling sad. Then I remembered my “joy jar.” I grabbed it and leaped onto my bed, where I dumped out all the notes and began reading them aloud. A couple notes in, and tears welled in my eyes. I was overwhelmed with gratitude. I smiled and laughed more that evening than I had the entire year. God’s goodness swept over me like a tidal wave.
My joy jar didn’t “heal” me. That took time and weekly sessions with my counselor to help me work through things that needed attention. But, my joy jar did act as the match to a wick. It illuminated just how kind God is. How patient He is with us. Healing is a journey and one that shouldn’t be rushed. God is the most amazing example of patience and I’m so thankful for that.
Every single day that year, I had experienced something good, but had missed it when it happened. During a time when I experienced guilt because I wanted my faith to shake off the depression, this was a truth I desperately needed to know.
It reminded me that even though I was a hot mess, God loved me. He was with me and for me. It also led me to my knees, where I asked God to forgive me. I had missed so much of His goodness in that season, but He was patient and allowed me to see it through the activity of my joy jar. It was a beautiful evening that I’ll cherish for a lifetime.
1. What is something spiritual that you have lost perspective on? Or, something spiritual you recently gained perspective on?
2. How did the lack or gain of perspective help you move forward in your faith?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for Your overflowing fountain of kindness and patience. Please guide us to seek help and community when we need it. Lord, reveal our sin to us, so that we can repent when we fall from Your will. Thank You for walking through the peaks and valleys with us and loving us when we don’t love ourselves. In Your precious name I pray, Amen!