You warily begin to inch across the living room floor, making sure to keep your mind focused and aware. You pull out all of the stealthy ninja moves you’ve convinced yourself you have mastery over. All of your training (received entirely via watching the Karate Kid) comes into play now and the pressure is on. Your concealment is of utmost importance. If detected, mission over…end of story…you’re goose is cooked…dead duck. ( I promise to refrain from anymore poultry references for the remainder of this post 😉 ) You see the light beaming from under the door. You’re almost there. In one last dash, you swing open the door, closing it swiftly behind you. You let out a massive sigh of relief. You worked hard to get here…you even broke a sweat (and possibly a toe from aforementioned ninja moves). The bathroom is YOURS! MUAHAHAHAHA! ALL YOURS!!! And then you see it… there it is…glistening brightly in the corner…your bath tub. You slip into the hot water you began running and make yourself comfortable. You breathe in a deep sigh of relaxation and begin reflecting upon the events of the day. A myriad of emotions begin cropping up pertaining to the multitude of situations you have encountered this past week as the water begins to surround you. You feel your anxiety rising, along with the water, as you begin contemplating all of the challenges that seem to be looming in front of you. Suddenly, you feel as though you’re drowning…in a tidal wave of problems. What happened to the excitement and elation that was there only moments ago? Where did it go? Why do you allow this to happen? Every time? Out of the stark silence, you hear Him ask you…”Where do you find your JOY? Do you find your JOY in ME or things of the world?” Okay Lord…paying attention now. You begin reflecting on these questions and don’t neccesarily like the answer you have to give. You cry out to God ” Oh Lord, I’m so sorry! I’ve been making a BIG mistake! I have allowed myself to lose sight of who I was in YOU! I have been trying to find my SELF WORTH and JOY in things other than YOU. I have let others thoughts, opinions, and actions toward and about me affect me in ways that it shouldn’t! Things of this world CAN’T bring me JOY…ONLY YOU CAN! If I know who I am in YOU Lord, what others think or do to me doesn’t even matter! I have a fulfillment of internal JOY, sustainable PEACE, CONTENTMENT, and CONFIDENCE IN YOU!” JOHN 15:11 says “These things I have spoken to you, that MY JOY may be IN YOU, and that YOUR JOY may be FULL.” You never promised us continual uninterrupted HAPPINESS but you did offer us YOUR JOY through SALVATION! Yes, things of this world can bring us HAPPINESS for a short time, but will NEVER be able to provide us with JOY… your JOY! So, when the storms come, we can SMILE because of YOU! When the trials appear, we can LAUGH JOYOUSLY because of YOU! When hardships manifest we can PRAISE YOU FOR YOUR GOODNESS through them! Help us to be aware and have discernment between
EXTERNAL HAPPINESS and INTERNAL JOY! Our OUTLOOK directly affects our OUTCOME! Today, help us to choose YOUR JOY LORD! “GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are FILLED with an INEXPRESSIBLE and GLORIOUS JOY” 1 PETER 1:8