I wanted to write about joy today. I tend to write so frequently about pain; I thought I'd change it up a bit.
I think I've always struggled with joy. Finding joy. Having joy. It doesn't really come naturally to me. I'm not a bubble-over type of person... more of a mellow fellow.
The closest I'd ever come to joy (before Anderson) was delight. And even then, it was fleeting... but it was a glimpse.
When I think of things that bring me delight... it could be cute magnets, babies... mini things, larger-than-normal things... a paycheck... a cute coat. Joy... I had the most joy with Anderson. It was a joy and a love that I had never experienced before. So wonderful. Words can't even describe it. It was happiness, delight... times a billion. I miss him so much.
Nowadays... I don't know if I've been joyful, but I've been happy... I've been delighted... my heart has smiled. What brings me the most delight nowadays is friendships and relationships. My heart has been uplifted through being with people, reconnecting with people I haven't seen in a long time... sharing life with them... sharing food with them... sharing laughs and reminiscing and making new memories.
All these things are wonderful and all my friends, relationships, and the time we've spent together... sweet, sweet times of fellowship... are all gifts from God and they bring me a lot of happiness. But they are the gifts. And I was reminded today that my joy should not lie with the gifts, but with the giver of the gifts. How horrible would it be to take the gift, revel in the gift... and fail to give thanks to the giver who so lovingly prepared the gifts for us?
When we focus on the gifts more than the giver, that's where our hope and our desire is... in the earthly things. And in that way, they become a false source of happiness, a false source of security... our idols, basically. Things here on earth... they get old, they rust, they're destroyed in fires, swept away by hurricanes (or is it tornadoes... not really sure)... they get lost... and sometimes... they die and are taken away from us. It's painful to lose such precious and wonderful gifts. But the giver is always there. He will never leave us or forsake us. He has always been and He will always be. And He never fails to give good gifts to His children because he loves us so, so much.
I hope I always keep my eyes, my hope, my everything... on the giver and not the gifts. My life, my hope, my service... forever to Him who will never fail me. Thank you for the reminder today.
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose. -Jim Elliot