Find out where joy resides and give it a voice far beyond
singing. For to miss the joy is to miss all.
– Robert Louis Stevenson
How ironic is it that I am reading about joy on a week when I feel like all the joy has just departed from my very being.It should be an exciting week; a restful and fun one. Yet I seem to struggle more this week than I have in those past. Planning for our home school, meal planning, house cleaning, gardening, worship and prayer time, and preparing for our “daughter” who comes this Friday to stay with us and attend the local school for the year…..And where is my joy?
Its a struggle to acknowledge this week, but its true and needs to be said. Happiness doesn’t come from your spouse, nor our children, friends or family – it comes from a Christ-centered life.
In fact He reminds us repeatedly throughout the Scriptures that our strength, it comes from God alone.
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31
Certainly I do not want to live a life that does not have the joy of the Lord showing; I want everyone to see Him when they look to me and certainly frowns and adult tantrums do not show Christ. *ahem* So how do you get this joy? How do you move from a life of discontentment and sorrow to one that is spilling over with joy? Unspeakable, overflowing, contagious joy!!! I want that ❤
I cannot remember who said it but I remember hearing them say we need to put on our God-goggles so we can see Him in every thing. Every day. And in EVERYTHING let us give thanks. May we pray without ceasing. Keeping Jesus at the center of it all He is always there, at work in our lives, we just do not always see it. But if we are seeking, He will reveal to us, those things.
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
– 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 that
Did you see that too? God LOVES a cheerful giver. If we strive for more of Him, for more joy and peace, every day, oh the blessings that shall fall upon us. 🙂 But its about what we are willing to give. I say all the time, its hard to appreciate help around the house, or tasks completed, when the attitude that is present is not so joyful. Its about the spirit that we have each day. Some days may be harder but how desperately do we want that joy? How badly do we need His strength? Paul may use this referring to offerings and tithes but can it also not be about how we live? How we encourage and seek Him in every moment of our days? When we give of ourselves generously we shall also receive generously.
Dishes are dull, laundry is never ending, sweeping and mopping (what a party right?) and scrubbing a bathroom used mostly by boys with poor aim….? Yuck!. But here’s the thing–God loves a cheerful giver right ?. He wants us to experience joy in every journey no matter how big or small it seems. He wants us to live and to give from the heart not from the hands. To work and serve as though it were Him we were serving. All the time. But how do we do that? How can we experience joy in the midst of all the monotony?
Are you thankful? I like to think I am but as I murmur and grumble how thankful am i really? Those dishes mean that we are well fed; the bathroom and the kitchen messes – we have enough and we have joy. Time together. Healthy meals. Experiences. Gratitude. Focus. Discipline. Focusing our self, beating down that flesh to remember those monotonous things, they are a result of many blessings!
We need time and patience; and lots of discipline. It doesn’t happen overnight. And it isn’t something that we learn once or twice and have forever. Its not like that. ITS hard. Its work. We have to want it and we have to choose to see those things we can be joyful and grateful for. Even when its a sinkful of dishes, and three sick kids and a hubby enjoying his favorite show. We do it because we love them. We do it because we are blessed with our family. Every one of them. A blessing from the Lord. IF we choose to see it.
I never thought until read it ” how important our happiness is to my husband and why. He delights in the joy of his family because he sees our gratitude as a reflection of his gift to us.” All that he does, his hard work and time away, and when he comes home and I am grumbling and the kids are fighting…It sure does not show that we love or are grateful for all he does. We may not see the challenges he faces each day; his may not be a 2 year old and a 4year old and a stubborn and headstrong 8 year old but he has his own that he must deal with and the two cannot and should not be compared. It is not a contest. We are in this together.