A few days ago, I read a passage in my super wonderful daily chronological Bible I’ve read close to a thousand times – but this time, it was different.
I’m deeply entrenched in the life of David and I just finished reading 2 Samuel 6:16 – the passage in which one of his wives, Michal, ridicules him for his public joy and celebration.
Here’s what it says:
As the ark of the covenant of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David dancing and celebrating, she despised him in her heart.
In the past, I’ve glossed over these sentences and just concluded that Michal was a bit of a grouch; however, this time, it occurred to me . . .
There will always be others who won’t want to celebrate your joys and victories.
When you’re doing well and making positive changes, you’re shining your light – but the people who don’t want to celebrate with you are usually still stuck in the dark.
These people try to steal your joy because, truth be told, your light is terrifying.
It’s terrifying because your light shines into their darkness and exposes a brokenness they may not want to reveal. Their human-ness. Their I-so-don’t-really-have-it-all-together-but-I-have-to-act-like-I-do-ness.
And just as I was thinking of what a wretch Michal was, a humble realization knocked the wind from my lungs.
I’ve been Michal more times than I care to admit.
I’ve been threatened by the lights of others. I’ve been scared to admit I don’t have it all together. I’ve allowed pride to cloud my view a time or two.
Oh, Michal. I would like to pretend I don’t get you but the sad reality is . . . I do.
When others try to steal our joy, maybe we need to give them hope.
When others try to stay in the dark, maybe we need to ever-so-gently place a dim-light in the hollows of their hurting soul.
And when others complain, maybe we need to refrain. Refrain from reacting, refrain from defense, refrain from slinging back.
It’s true those who try to steal joy are hard people to love – but the cliche of “hurting people hurt people” is also true.
Joy-stealers are still in the dark – as we once were, too.
But while they try to steal joy, let’s be a people who gives love in return.
If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?
– Matthew 5:46 (NIV)