joy . . . and not just to the world
This is going to be a post about nothing, but I really wanted to write today. Mostly, because classes are starting up again soon, and I won’t have much time for writing anymore . . . for fun that is. It’s okay, life won’t always be like this, and that’s a good thing. But it got me to thinking about how in life it seems like we’re always waiting for the perfect conditions. For this, that, or the other to happen. We think if we only have this, we’ll be happy, or if our circumstances changed to this, life would be good.
I think what I’m learning in life is that you don’t have to be in a certain situation to have happiness, you don’t have to have so many cars, a big house, the right kind of job. In other words, you don’t have to have it all together to be happy.
In fact, happiness in and of itself is an elusive thing. That’s because I think there is something even better than happiness waiting for us out there. It’s called joy. In the past, I never really got joy. What does it mean to be joyful after all? It’s such an abstract word. But joy, real joy when you have it, when you experience it, well there’s nothing abstract about that.
It’s something, too, that can’t be taken away. Situations in life change, my family knows that all too well. In fact, everything can be taken away. Job security, loved ones, even your own health. None if it lasts forever, but joy is so much better than all of it. It goes so much deeper. It’s like a seed planted deep in the ground, growing and stretching and putting down roots so that no matter the changes that life brings, it thrives.
When I was younger, I was afraid of so much. Afraid of failure, of loss, of pain, of sickness and of losing those I love. But I’m learning that fear isn’t of God. And I can’t explain how I came to this place, this place of no longer being afraid. It’s a remarkable feeling, really, and it stems from joy and peace. His peace—the kind the world can’t give. The kind the world can’t take away.
Proverbs 31 was always a place in the Bible that I turned to when I thought about what kind of woman I wanted to be. One of my favorite verses in there, is verse 25:
“She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs with no fear of the future.”
Laughs with no fear of the future. I can honestly say I’m there. Don’t ask me how or why. I chalk it up to God, a God whose perfect love drives out all fear.
I hope you know that fear is not of God. Faith is. Hope is. Joy is. Rest in his perfect love for you and know that you don’t have to be afraid of anything anymore. God’s peace and joy be yours in abundance. ‘Til next time.
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