Sunday, November 13, 2011

Joy Sucker~ Part 2

There are a lot of people that can be joy suckers.  I’m sure I have been one, maybe without even realizing it.  Which is a good reminder to give grace to joy suckers instead of just being mad or hurt.

The other big joy sucker in life though are circumstances.  When life is good, we are healthy, there is money in the bank, people like us I tend to feel joyful.

But is that really joy?  Joy is not just happiness.  If I let my circumstances dictate my joy level, I’m pretty much doomed to defeat.  This world we live in is a tough place.  People are mean.  Families are fractured.  Jobs are demanding.  Money is tight.  Health is fragile.  Futures are uncertain.  It doesn’t take long living here to realize it’s not all unicorns and bubble gum.

I’ve been experiencing growing frustrations in several areas.  And it seems that it has sucked my joy.  I am indifferent about a lot of things because I’m weary of the battle.  When I hit this point I find myself going through the motions or just trying to get through the next thing.

But again, if my joy is based on Jesus Christ and his glorious salvation, it doesn’t matter what is going on around me.  I’ll be filled with unmatchable, unexplainable joy.  Joy in the hope that is to come.  Joy in the amazing grace of the Savior.  Joy in being forgiven.

Our church meets in a school.  It’s a lot of work to get things hauled in, set up and taken down every week.  Now that we’ve been at this for 13 years, it’s getting tiresome for all of us.  As a church we are exhausted.  There aren’t that many of us. 

It happens from time to time, that after cleaning up all the kids stuff and scraping play dough off the floor and hauling it all out to the van, I find that the coffee and information tables still need to be broken down.  I do it but it usually involves some grumbling.

Last week, I came around the corner on my way to finish cleaning up the kid mess, to find my daughter and her friend taking down the tables.  They were putting away the brochures and folding up tablecloths.  But they weren’t grumbling.  They were chatting and laughing.  It was a beautiful scene.

Those girls were filled with joy and serving from the heart.  They have gone to our church long enough that they really don’t know any different.  We set up, we take down. 

I hope I never forget that beautiful picture of them working together.  Our circumstances don’t dictate our joy.  Our joy is Jesus and He never changes.  So no matter what is going on around me.  No matter what makes me sad or mad or frustrated.  It can’t suck my joy. 

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,

though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,

though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes me feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go to the heights. 

Habakkuk 3:17-19

Look up not around.

No comments: