The word “LOST” was in many headlines today, as I surfed the internet for my daily news update. Last night, the hit television series (Lost—in case you’ve been living on a deserted island and have never heard of it!) began its third season, and all the major news networks were providing recaps of the season premiere, along with conspiracies, I mean, commentary on the wildly popular program. But this post isn’t about the TV show (even though it is one of my favorites!).

I have developed a tendency to lose things. It’s as if my apartment is a black hole! Two weeks after I moved in, I lost my apartment keys. I never did find them, either. I can only assume that pulling gloves out of my jacket pocket back in January dislodged my keys somewhere in a parking lot, or perhaps they found their way into the abyss of the emergency brake of my car. Who knows? Fortunately, I had a spare, and life went on.

Three months after that, I lost my car keys. Again, I had a spare and used it for three days, all the while hunting for my “real” set. I even went so far as to leave a note in the lobby of my building, asking if anyone had found a set of car keys. Finally, in desperation, I took all the couch cushions off and found my car keys dangling from a bar in the hide-a-bed. Again, I blame my pockets for this, too. Somehow things just escape from them.

When I went to the States this summer, I “hid” stuff in my apartment in case someone figured out I was gone and broke in. Friends counseled me to do this, although it may be in my genes, if you consider my grandmother. I hid my car registration so well that it took two weeks for me to find it!

Lately, I’ve lost my joy. I know I am taking a risk by admitting this to you, but I follow the example of Paul, who wrote about his “troubles, hardships, and distresses” (II Cor 6:4), being under “a great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life” (II Cor 1:8), and being “harrassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within” (II Cor 7:6).
I figure if he could admit to his missions supporters that he was having difficulties, I can admit it to mine.

I’ve gone through some hard times emotionally in the past few months. I think everyone goes through moments that are difficult, at some point in their life. For me, I am very isolated here and that affects me. It’s pretty sad when you can identify with the little oval people on the Zoloft commericals that have rainclouds over their heads!

But, tonight while I was praying about losing my joy, the Lord reminded me that my joy isn’t in my family, as much as I might miss them. My joy isn’t in making other people happy, so I won’t feel guilty; my joy isn’t in my job, in friends, or even in the fulfillment of my future hopes and dreams. It’s in Him, in His salvation. For now, I pray what David prayed “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me (Psalm 51:12).” I appreciate your prayers, as well.
Ariel Rainey