Saturday, June 23, 2012

What is this.. "joy"?

At church, we youngin's like to have a Bible study together as often as we can. Typically we start off by looking at the definition of whatever it is that we're studying. Take last week, for example. We studied God's Sovereignty, so we started off by comparing some different definitions of the word "Sovereignty" that we'd found over the week in our pre-study "homework" :)
So today I'm thinking about joy.
What is it?
What's it made of?

 What's your definition of joy?
When I think about joy, I don't get a definition given in any old dictionary.  I get images, really pretty mental images. And I'm sure that's the case for many, many, people.
And I believe this is the case because I firmly believe that joy is something so remarkable, so amazing, that it cannot be explained any more than it can be contained.

I see the eyes of an adopted child light up as their new parents wrap their arms around them for the very first time. Feeling the pure love all around them.

I see a beautiful sunrise over the ocean, the crisp air of a new day blowing away the previous one.

I see a group of friends gathered together around a bonfire, laughing together and enjoying life as it is in that very moment. Not thinking of what "could be" or "should be" or of what their future will hold. Just simply loving the moment.

That's my definition of joy.

I am a child adopted by a king, who's pure love for me rocks my world all the time.
I would try to explain, but I can't even begin to grasp the concept of His pure love for me. I just know that it will never fade.

I am a morning person. You know why? "His mercies are new every morning" 
How incredibly uplifting is that? Every single morning, He starts fresh. When I feel a fresh morning breeze, I can't help but let out a little squeal, or long sigh, of utter joy.
It reminds me that I am more than choices that I've made, I am more than the sum of my past mistakes, I am more than the problems I create (thanks Tenth Avenue North, for the good lyrics in "You Are More"),
His mercies/forgiveness are new every morning.

Every now and then I have "a moment". A moment in which I feel so at peace, so in love with life, so overcome with the joy of that moment.
Content and not concerned for what could be, should be, or will be.
Just in awe of how I am so blessed... eep! Gives me chills.

Here's what I would recommend. Keep an eye and heart out for those "moments", they are cadence in a most precious form. The more you recognize the joy you feel, the more you appreciate it. The more you appreciate it, the more you live for it, the more you live for it, the more you strive for a life lived in tune and well played.

God loves it when we have joy in the work of His hands in our lives.
It's good stuff.

Find some.

"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music;" ;) Psalm 98:4



Friday, June 15, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

I Can Explain.

Really, I can. Although, I don't want to.
I know I've been gone again for a long time... because the truth is, I fell down. Completely lost my footing and the ground beneath my feet just seemed to vanish.
I had nothing to say to you for such a long time because I was distracted... and I was a bit of a mess.

There's a great song by Thousand Foot Krutch called "All I need to know", it's a very pleasant melody and the lyrics are sincere. This is the chorus:
I don't know why it's so hard to swallow our pride
and I don't know how many wrongs make a right
I don't know the reason, sometimes it just feels so good to cry.
And I don't know which way the wind will blow
but you're here with me
and that's all I need to know.
This is pretty descriptive of where I've been at lately. Swallowing my pride has been a huge step. Especially when coming before the Lord, the Creator, the Ruler of all.
It's when I come before Him and realize how insignificant and unworthy I am, that makes the change in my heart. Because it's then that I can acknowledge His absolutely power and sovereignty and turn from my own personal interests/desires... and focus on being the servant I was meant to be.

As for knowing "how many wrongs make a right".. well, don't take that the wrong way.
Technically, wrong + wrong = wrong.  But, we are bound to be wrong, and we will fail time and time again.
Because we are human, and it happens. But the good news is that God doesn't just let us fall that far and leave us there, Only He knows how many wrongs make a right, and He's the one that makes them right.
God is a God of Holy Correction... and I absolutely adore this about Him. I often think about how "God is my favorite teacher", because when He allows me to go through this stuff, it's because He wants to show me something. He wants to correct me.

May I just say, I stand wholly corrected.

Maybe I do know the reason it feels so good to cry sometimes. My recent tears have been those of realization of my wrong, and realization that it can be right. Only because of His grace.
Boy, that grace is something else.

I don't know which way the wind will blow. And you know what? That's been my issue.
Analogy time.

Once upon a time there was a girl named Chelsea. She had been given a beautiful kite, and she wanted to fly it soooo bad. But, the wind wasn't blowing. So she prayed and prayed and prayed for the wind to blow. And it did! But, then Chelsea decided she didn't like the way the wind was blowing her kite. So she prayed and prayed and prayed for the wind to blow the other way.
It didn't, and Chelsea got upset.
She prayed and prayed and prayed again for the wind to blow the other way.
 It still did not.
So she gave up flying her kite, and walked the direction she had wanted the wind to blow, only to find a giant tree that surely would have wrecked her beautiful kite that she had been given.
Then she praised the Lord for knowing everything and protecting her kite.

Okay, so I'm not extremely spectacular with analogies.
Anyway, the kite is my life that I've been given, it's a beautiful one. I have everything I need.
But I wanted it to fly, so I asked God to help me make it fly, and He did, and all was well.
But then! I got distracted and wanted it to fly the other way. So I tried to make it go the other way, but God didn't want it to go the other way, because He knew there was a tree in the way, and surely my kite would be brought to ruin.

God is good. All the time. Watching out for me, even when I am being ignorant and selfish.
That's how I know He's here with me. And that's all I need to know.

So there you have it.
I was just reminded how bad pride tastes.
And how good forgiveness feels :)