The underlying theme of this episode seemed to be happiness. What can one do to achieve it, and how can one make it last? Sonozaki has an answer for this, but it's not pretty.
It's true pain makes us who we are today, and as a Christian I believe God lets us experience painful situations so we can ultimately find greater joy. My favorite verse, James 1:2-4 says,
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
Well, Sonozaki sure seems to get this. Her pain has made her wise beyond her years, and she adds to her previous comment with a shrewdness that could only come from one who's been through so much.
Though at first glance the thought might seem kind of morbid, I later found that I agreed. Everyone needs someone to share their burdens with and visa versa...After all, that's what friends are for, isn't it? Consider the Ultimate Friend who carried the Ultimate Burden, and you'll see what I mean.
This episode contained one more instance that really hit home on the whole "finding true happiness" thing, and to be honest, it provided a pivotal point in my relationship with Jesus.
Here Sonozaki speaks nothing of pain or the burdens that come with it, but that simply connecting with others can bring pure joy. Think about it. Sometimes just being there for someone, even if you dont understand what they're going through, even if you can't fully empathize with them, is what it takes to bring them through to the other side. And you know what? Their example of endurance and persistance will bring happiness back to you and on and on until that happiness finally runs out.
But I know a secret well of happiness that never runs dry –someone I can connect to on a deeper level than anyone else in this entire world, and His name, ladies and gentlemen, is Jesus Christ. Jesus may be the Ultamite Kiznaiver, yes, but the times when I felt His presence most deeply was not when reflecting on His sacrifice or the burden He carried, but when I was down in the deepest, darkest of places, crushed under the weight of my own soul. He connected with me then, and many times since, in a way that was so simple and so plain that it was nothing short of spectacular. He was there for me when His silence said more than words and He is here for me today all the same. As a result of both connections, I found happiness that never wavers unless I take my eyes off the prize.
You see guys, it doesn't take much to make others happy, and it doesn't take much to find true happiness either, you just have to know where to look. And the place to run to is straight into the Lord's arms and His Loving Word.
Strangely enough I was reading Psalms yesterday and the footnotes at the bottom of my Bible repeatedly mentioned happiness. One, regarding Psalms 1:1 said this,
"The truly happy person is happy because God showers him with love."So there you have it folks, let God shower you with love, and you'll be happy! But you gotta let God know that's what you want, or else you may never get the chance to fully experience it. I shared with an internet friend this week much the same message –you can't just expect more from Jesus without first accepting what He initially gave you (James 4:8).
The process is simple, really. All you have to do is get on your knees and ask forgiveness to the One who died for your sins. Accept His free gift of salvation and ask Him to come into your heart so that you may continue to pursue a relationship with Him and live for His Glory and His Glory only all the days of your life. It's important to note that no amount of works or prayer could ever save you. It's your faith that in Jesus Christ that does. But once you find it my friends, you are on the very big road to discovering what true happiness is like.
I'm not saying everything will be perfect or even easy from here on out, and as a person who struggles with anxiety and depression on a very real level, I can vouch for this with everything I have. I guarantee you though, you'll find so much more happiness with the One who stands by you and shares your pain, than you ever could on your own (Psalm 34:19). And that, my friends, is what makes such a connection truly worth it in the end.