You Don’t Have to be Happy

Photo by Klaus Nielsen on

Decades ago, we smiled, danced, and sang along with the popular song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” It was a nice idea. But is it really possible to be happy all the time? What about when the nursing home you had trusted gets slack in caring for your loved one? Or the home health care nurse isn’t as pleasant with your mother as you once thought she would be? The list goes on and on for caregivers. At any given point things can fall apart. 

The good news is that we don’t have to be happy about that or about any similar circumstances . Things go awry sometimes, so we don’t have to beat up on ourselves because we are not happy about it. There are times we just have to cry. Yet, it is possible to be joyful all the time.

You see, happiness is based on circumstances – on what is or is not happening. But joy is based on the realization that despite all that is going on, God is still in control. And in His own time and in His own way, He will put things back as they should be. Your sense of joy and peace can be restored. Think of what it looks like when a mother or father quietly goes around the house straightening a mess that has been made. That is what joy is – envisioning what it will look like when things are made right again. It will happen; so that is what will help you smile.  And because of that, don’t try to be happy – be joyful!  

Published by Ardella

I am a retired educator and a Christian Education director. My passion is teaching and writing. My book, Learning to Love Olivia, chronicles my journey in caring for my mother during her season with Alzheimer's.

3 thoughts on “You Don’t Have to be Happy

  1. Just reading this post makes me feel peaceful… reminds me of the verse that says “Joy comes in the morning”…


    1. Yes, joy does come in the morning – we just have to wade through the dark times first. My brother always uses the quote, “Don’t doubt in the darkness what God has shown you in the light.”

      Liked by 1 person

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