The Importance of Joy
I have been focusing my Bible reading on joy this past month. See, I have every reason to have joy, but I also have just enough daily life aggravations to sometimes forget to experience joy.
And that left me wondering, “People are always saying to choose joy. How do you do that? Is it a choice?”
Sometimes it is a choice, and you can focus your mind in such a way, and pray, and be doing right things so that you do experience more joy.
But sometimes life is hard, hard, hard, and only a nitwit could possibly be joyful under the circumstances. I don’t think God expects us to be happy during a tragedy, but what about when there is no tragedy?
Right now there is no great tragedy in my life, but there are oodles of nuisances, nitnoid problems, stresses, and hard things.
For instance, this morning was “Sunday dress” day at my boys’ school. See, it’s grandparent day, which we are actually thrilled about, so the school is having the kids put on a presentation, and they want them to look nice. Perfectly reasonable, so it’s my job to make sure the House of Many Little Men is well represented. I’m not complaining about it, and if I had children who enjoyed dressing up, this would not have caused Alan and me serious tension and a pinch in my left shoulder that will not go away.
By the time it was done, I gave up on “well represented” and settled for “at least meets the rule requirements.” They marched in to school wearing nice shirts, khaki pants, belts, and rough-looking tennis shoes. The mere idea of brown Sunday shoes scandalized the boys past where I could push after already dealing with everyone’s dissatisfaction over not going to school
dressed like homeless people wearing t-shirts.
I love my sweet boys. They had well recovered by the time I dropped them off. They happily told me they loved me and went inside. They couldn’t wait for their grandparents to arrive and visit the Book Fair. You’d have never known what a battle ground getting dressed had been.
But I took a little longer to recover. Why is that? I don’t know. My nerves were shot. Getting kids ready for school any day is tiring. Doing it on “Sunday dress” day is straight up torture. (And YES, I’m beyond thankful I don’t have to braid anyone’s hair!! It was enough of a struggle just to get all of their hairs to LAY down!!!) I thought to myself that it would take a whole lot of extra Jesus to help me this morning.
When you feel like this, I hope you will turn to your Bible instead of to other things, like bad food or alcohol. I know. I know. Everyone loves to joke about numbing the pain with a nice glass of wine or a whole box of chocolates. But that is temporary. For true joy, you need God’s Word.
This is a fallen world we are living in, and we all sometimes need help in the joy department. Joy is important. For me, joy is knowing I’ve done the right things, and I have a clear path in front of me. Joy is letting go of any pent-up feelings of resentment that I am harboring. Joy is being directed by the Lord, and feeling what I’m doing is useful.
I will be writing more about this. It’s much too big a topic for only one blog post.
I hope you will take a little time to open your Bible today, and see what God’s Word actually says. The world puts a ton of misinformation out there about our Christian beliefs, and some so-called Christians can discourage you with their attitude. Don’t let that happen! Don’t let the negativity get to you. Open up that Holy Bible, and the Scriptures will speak to you in ways you don’t expect, if not right away, then just keep reading.
Well, John David got soaked in the water hose, and I have to go change him now. And no, he’s not wearing “Sunday dress”. Maybe when his grandparents arrive, they can change him into nicer digs for me. Ha!!
“There is deceit in the hearts of those who plot evil, but joy for all those who promote peace.” Proverbs 12:20
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33
“When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased.” –C. S. Lewis