Stealing my joy…
Welcome to day two of the experiment week. I am excited to be writing for the second day in a row. So far, so good…
Yesterday’s post dealt with pests. After working out in the bushes again last night, I came to an interesting realization. As I was once again swatting those junebugs off the berries, I suddenly thought, “I usually enjoy coming out and working in the berries. These pests are trying to steal my joy!” Well, I will have none of that!
Pests, or as I changed the idea to distractions, can be real joy-killers, can’t they? Isn’t it funny how sometimes we can be in the middle of something we really like doing and, after we get distracted by whatever, we may not fully enjoy that something anymore? I think that’s just another danger of getting distracted–losing out on some real enjoyment because of the guilt, anger, frustration, etc…we may feel. You know, Psalm 90:14 says, “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.” When I’m out in the berries early in the morning, or I’m out walking with my awesome husband in the morning, or I’m struggling to get out of bed in the morning–I should be joyful. My God has given me a new day, a day filled with so many markers of His unfailing love; I should have no trouble being joyful. Thinking about His love, and what His love has done for me and continues to do for me makes me want to be in a different frame of mind. Those pests are all around us, in forms we recognize as well as in forms that are much more sneaky. But, regardless of how many surround us or want to distract us from our activities, the unfailing love of Jesus is always around–always filling us with joy.
So, how do we keep those pests from stealing our joy? I wish I had a fabulous answer for that. I will admit to you, my friends, there are days when my joy is hard to find. Specifically, there are situations where my joy seems deeply buried somewhere in the dark recesses of my soul. Do I instantly realize that my joy isn’t present in those circumstances? Regretfully, no. Instead I putter around, growing darker and darker in my spirit until I become someone that no one wants to be around. Does this sound like anybody out there? Or am I the only one who has this happen? I think I can honestly say that I do not believe I am alone in this.
Thankfully, the joy that is discussed in Psalm 90:14 and in so many other places in the Bible does not originate from circumstance. Joy– deep, abiding, incomprehensible, unfathomable joy comes from a relationship with God. When we don’t feel that joy, it’s because of ourselves and what we have allowed to stand in front of that joy. I can honestly tell you that sometimes there are situations that are so bleak and discouraging, my joy is definitely hidden from view. I have allowed myself to become “taken in” by the circumstance, so much so that I can’t find my way out. I can’t see anything but that current situation–my joy, though it is not dependent on the situation, is hard to feel. Only by making a conscious effort to take a breath, close my eyes, and focus on God can I truly begin to feel the joy that is within me. I am not running around in a troublesome time smiling and laughing and singing–not at all. But I am, deep within me, pulling strength from that joy that comes from Jesus. My heart is steadfast– “My heart, O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul.” Psalm 108:1. In my soul, I have joy. Never leaving, never ending, always surrounding, always sustaining–joy.
When I am faced with distractions, with junebugs that want nothing more than to eat all my blueberries, I take that breath, flick those nasty green bugs off the plant, and continue on with joy in my heart. I won’t allow green bugs, or life’s many trials, to steal my joy anymore. Though I apply a bit of force in the flicking of those pests in my life… That’s another writing….
Questions to ponder:
What’s stealing your joy?
How do you keep your joy from being taken?
Is there anything you can do today, in your current situation, that would focus your mind on the joy you have within?
Want to experience some joy based purely on circumstance? Visit http://allrecipes.com/recipes/drinks/smoothies/ for some recipes that will refresh and nourish you. Joy comes from the situation when you have something cold, fruity and delicious in your hands!
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