Wednesday, September 2, 2009

True Joy Anyone?

I'll have a shot of that! A shot of true joy, that is. Do you know what I'm talking about when I say true joy? It's very different than happiness. Don't get me wrong, I got nothing against happiness. I like being happy, but joy is different. I'm happy when things around me are just flowing. When I have true joy it just fills me no matter my circumstances. When I have it, it seems to control me, and my heart is full of peace and truth. So, my question is ,if I love joy so much why do I let some of my days go by where I experience so little of it?

I read yesterday the words of good ol' Oswald Chambers. He said "living a full and overflowing life does not rest in bodily health, in circumstances, nor even in seeing God's work succeed, but in the perfect understanding of God, and in the same fellowship and oneness with Him that Jesus Himself enjoyed." Oswald is saying I can enjoy the same oneness and fellowship Jesus did with God. Yeah, I'd like that! He also said that it can be stolen by giving too much thought to our circumstances. Jesus' words are that, "the cares of this world....choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful." (Mark 4:19) After reading this I just sat and thought, what is choking a full and overflowing life from me? What am I allowing to steal my joy? Is it true, I mean really true, that in some of life's hardest situations I can still experience joy?

I thought through some of my greatest heartaches that I've walked through with the Lord. We buried our baby Kamryn after only 30 days of life. Caleb was extremely sick when he was born and my heart was gripped with fear that we would bury him too. We have had times where we didn't know how we would pay bills or buy Christmas gifts. The list goes on, and I know it does for all of us because we all have hurts. I have hurts and hard circumstances that we are dealing with right now. Today my daily life is what I allow to rob me of my joy.

I know that this joy that Oswald and Jesus speak of is real. I know it's real because time and time again I've experienced it! I just want to experience more of it. I want to have it in my day to day, in my normal routine that I'm not always excited about. I want full life and true joy in some of the mundane jobs of just being a mom. Can I have this joy when I'm doing a mountain of laundry and I don't want to be? How about when we are doing school and the kids just aren't getting it, or they're just being difficult? What about when the house is a wreck, and even when I clean I get nowhere cause the mess is just so stinkin much? How about when as full time missionary's we just aren't bringing in enough donations to get a full paycheck? I can so easily get wrapped up in circumstances, and very quickly have my joy hijacked! I do think however, that even in the midst of all of life's yuck, I can experience full life and true joy, and I think God's heart longs for me to experience this.

For me the only answer to experiencing this true joy lies here in this verse: "Abide in Me, and I will abide in you. A branch cannot bear fruit if it is disconnected from the vine, and neither will you if you are not connected to Me." (John 15:4)

Lord, will you give my heart a longing to abide in you today?


Lorren said...'re blogging again! Love your new layout, too.

Great post on having true joy. While living in Mexico, I knew my challenge was to have true joy, despite my circumstances. It was a great life lesson.

MyShannonigans said...

So thankful you are blogging again! Your gonna bless me and others along with your passion! I definitely needed to read your blog today. Sorta lost sight of my joy today! I let everything else blurr my vision. Thanks for the reminder and thankful I can finish my day in joy!

Anonymous said...

I love this! But I love that you are my wife even more.