The words “sacrifice” and “joy” don’t really seem like they go together. It makes a person sound like a martyr or someone running for a political office. But when we consider how everything we do for other people can be seen as a kind of sacrifice, we have to start looking at what our motivations are and how we can get to pure joy as an end result.
It’s hard at times to get out of my own head. There are a few things going on in my life right now. I feel unsettled and unsure. I could choose to hang out there for long periods of time. Some days I do.
But then I remember how we are not put here on this earth in this time for right now to throw pity parties. Don’t get me wrong. We are allowed to mourn losses. We cannot avoid the pain and despair that we sometimes drown in. We should expect hard times. We should expect sorrows. We should know they are coming and we should be ready for them. Life is a training ground. It will beat us up and it will knock us down. But not for the count. We must get up by ten. (Though not necessarily ten o’clock in the morning, because that won’t always happen for sure.)
Sometimes it’s easier said than done. And it’s in those times that we need each other. While Jesus gives us all we need for salvation, for hope, for peace, he very often uses his other people to share that with us. He knows us. He knows we need tangible expressions of hope and peace. He knows we need to physically feel an embrace. He knows we need food and drink. He knows we need safe shelter and refuge. These are very real needs and he sends us training partners along the way, to get through the rough trails, to spot us on the hard exercises, to pick us up. Our husbands are those partners. And sometimes other wives are those partners. Sometimes those who have been through similar trails before us can help us make sense of it all. Sometimes other women who have the same fears, the same struggles can guide us through the parts we aren’t navigating for ourselves very well.
But who is God sending your way? And is He sending you to someone? This is pure joy. to give selflessly and without reward. To give of ourselves and our experiences, to share in the journey. We need others on this journey. We need cheerleaders. We need each other sometimes to find our joy in the dark, someone to come alongside with a flash light and help point it in the right direction when we’ve lost our way. We need these people and we need to be these people.