This morning there is joy from deep within attempting to surface and actually for the past few days there seemed to be a lack. This is not something I can take credit for but am delighted to experience it as it will flow over onto others. There are times when I am tempted to think joy or mistakes are personal in nature as I remind myself, everything is about God and my relationship to Him/Her. The constant struggle is removing the little ego from my thinking and know that I know it is always about God/Good. The Bible says it is all vanity if we are not looking through God’s/Love’s eyes.
John 3:8 states “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” Today, my focus is on God!
This morning I read where a High School teacher was making a point with her class. The students were asked if they had $86,400, would they concern themselves if someone stole $10 from them? She went on to say that is the number of seconds in a day so if someone offended them, it would probably take 10 or so seconds to do so. Would they give them more of the day by ruminating , playing and replaying it mentally? That is our choice!
“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalm 16:11 This can only work if we refuse to be impressed with small things that try and steal our joy.
As I have been studying today’s Bible lesson, it mentions “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image,”. Soon after, an unsolicited thought pops into my head from nowhere from the past when I suddenly realized that becomes a graven image from time to time since it is not connected with joy but regret. With this gentle nudge, I began to study the 10 Commandments closer and deeper. For example “Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain” means so much more to me now. Since I don’t use the word “damn” after God’s name, I thought I was home free until I realized that any comment after “I Am” that is ungodlike can be seen as blasphemous.
Hebrews 12:28-29 reads “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire.'” While studying deeper, everything becomes fresher to me rather than rote! I will look at all things anew today with childlike innocence and without judgment.
As I was praying this morning, happiness came to thought. For me so often, that exhilarating feeling follows purchase of a new car or dress, planning for an upcoming event or vacation or something else that can seem temporary. Then I began to think about joy, which comes from within and has nothing to do with the human scene but comes when gratitude and humility fill my heart. Daily I pray with Psalms 51:10 which reads “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
Peace and harmony come from within, not without and is also the natural state of being. This, I think, is our rightful inheritance.
Yesterday afternoon coming home from the week-end spent in another city, we stopped outside of this little town where a flea market was going on. We were drawn to this elderly woman’s tent where she had drooping hanging baskets and various plants. All at once we decided to buy this very ugly hanging basket with a few yellow flowers peeking out and a small pot of colored peppers, also dried up looking. We put them outside and watered them good with water and love when we got home several hours later.
This morning at my desk, I am looking out at this hanging basket standing proud and erect with beautiful flowers and hummingbirds sipping from the flowers! Am thinking about how God sees us when we feel worn out and droopy. Love is always the answer!
James 1:2 states “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” Often this may seem difficult, but release each and every challenge to God to see what He sees.
So often we think something needs to happen in order for us to experience joy! Actually, we can be joyful right here, right now and anywhere. Just read a cute poem which reads, “The heart is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds, You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.” The choice is always ours.
Psalm 23:4 states, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” No matter what the human experience, the Christ is right there lovingly pointing out our blessing.
This morning while at my desk, reading and praying and rejoicing, after being in bed for a month, my heart overflows with joy. Am working with Isaiah 43:1, 2 and 4 which reads “now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have love thee:”
Never does He say that we won’t have to pass through the waters, nor walk through the fire, but He does say, He will be with us. As I think about my earlier prayers, I can remember praying for more humility and grace so I could hear Him better. This past month has been just that and I am so grateful for this lesson that became the biggest blessing of my life. Only Spiritual growth is going on!