Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What Do We Need to Have Joy?

What could make you feel absolute joy?  Would the joy last or would it be fleeting?  Is it possible to go an entire 24 hours feeling that joy without letting anything else come in to upset it?
It may sound like a simple thing, but we all know it's not.  As soon as we find that something that gives us a feeling of great joy and peace....life throws something at us that takes it all away.  We all have had those moments when life was perfect...maybe when our babies are born, is there anything that makes you feel more 'complete' and content than holding a little baby for the first time, whether you've birthed it or are receiving it through adoption, that feeling of love and content is totally overwhelming!  Of course then the baby cries, and won't stop, and you're tired and they're tired and 'whoosh', turmoil invades the peace!

We could say 'that's just human nature', but I disagree.  Peace and Joy can be found in any given moment, all we need to do is be looking for it.  My grandparents were farmers, life was probably difficult for them every single day.  You didn't go to the grocery store to get what you needed, you raised a cow, chickens, gardens, fruit trees, horses for labor, etc.  The day began very early for them, you were up with the cows, because they had to be milked and you needed the milk for breakfast.  There were chickens to be fed, eggs to be gathered, bread baking to begin and all of this had to be done before breakfast.  The chores were never ending, the work was brutal, the weather a constant battle, etc.  Of course there were the predators that needed to be kept at bay, your farm animals were not pets, they your livelihood, your food, your bartering items, so losing them to prey was not an option.

My grandfather was a Minister and was a very peaceful man.  My grandmother was the one that kept things in check around the house and the farm, particularly while grandpa was traveling as a pastor.  Grandma had many, many things to worry and fret about, the least of which were of course the nine children they were raising.  I know there were many worries, WWI, then WWII took two of her sons away from the farm and life changed drastically waiting every day for word, letters were sparse and I remember my mom saying she hated going home after checking the mail if there were no letters from the boys, because it was such a scary time for them all and letters kept them going.  Both of my uncles came home from the war without any battle wounds.

I know that grandma found the joy, at the end of the long hard days when her family was there in bed all safe and sound.  Her concerns were not 'what would she wear tomorrow?', 'were her kids content with their toys?'.  Her concerns became heartfelt prayers to the Lord for the safety and health of her family.  If they had that, they had 'just enough' for that day.  Grandma knew loss, she lost a daughter that was a newlywed, there was a fire and she died from the wounds from the fire.  I don't believe my Grandma was ever the same after that, I know most parents say they are never the same after losing a child.  The pain is always there.

But, my grandma knew the Lord.  She knew that only through Him could she find that peace and joy that we crave so intently.  I pray that you know my Jesus, He is the only way.  

Life is very hard, but it is short, the most important decision we can ever make is to follow Christ.  If we know Him and have Him in our heart, we know that after our time is done here on earth, we can be with Him in eternity.  It is written in the Scriptures, so it is indeed truth.

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