Joy Really Does Come in the Morning...Right?
On Sunday our pastor spoke on having joy in our lives. On Monday I woke up and contemplated joy. Honestly, I don't know about you, but I know that I have times when I struggle to have joy. ACTUALLY, I have times when I struggle just to get out of bed...knowing what the day ahead MIGHT bring. Joy is the LAST thing on my mind; I'm thinking about just surviving.
I mean, really, there are things that happen to me that just shouldn't happen...to anyone...ever. Yet, they do. These are the types of moments where I'm sure someone is going to jump out from behind my television set and yell, "Surprise! You're on Candid Camera." Yet, no one does. Huh. One such situation was when my daughter shoved a pen through a box. No big deal you might say, right? However, let me explain that she did this while she was sitting on our beautiful light tan microsuede sofa. Again, maybe not a big deal, until you discover that the pen EXPLODED. Had it exploded on the cardboard box, no biggie. Yet, somehow, my life can never be that simple: it exploded on the sofa. Was I feeling joy at that moment? Nope. Did I feel like exploding all over the place just like that pen? You bet! Joy, you say?
Then, there was the time that we were studying texture for art. So, I had the (not-really-so) brilliant idea of using Silly Putty to explore different textures. Little Tech Guy was really little at that point--maybe that should have been my first clue that using Silly Putty to explore different textures just wasn't a good idea. Sometimes, I think I unknowingly set myself up for disaster, and, looking back, this was one of those times. Little Tech Guy decided to experiment with all kinds of textures and proceeded to put the Silly Putty in his hair to see what kind of imprint THAT texture made. We'll never know what that imprint looked like because we weren't able to get the Silly Putty out of his hair in one piece. Was I feeling joy when I was plopping peanut butter onto his hair and trying to pull out the Silly Putty piece by tiny piece? Uh, NOPE.
Ah, and let's not forget the time that Handsome Tech Guy and I were running late for an evening church service. I quickly grabbed Little Tech Guy, who was Little Tech Baby at that time, only to have this happen to me:
Even worse, all of my clothes that actually fit me (which weren't too many at that time) were in the laundry. (Um, no one told me that the baby weight doesn't just PEEL right off of you after the baby is born. BUMMER. So, I only had a few clothes that actually fit my "Is this REALLY my new body??" post-partum body.) At that moment, I wanted to cry. Joy? I wasn't feeling it...
Looking back now, I can see that none of these situations were really a big deal (at the time, though, they REALLY WERE HUGE!!!). Now, I can look back and have joy: I can look back and be thankful that I'm not in those situations anymore, I can look back and cherish the memories I've made with my family, and I can look back and realize just how fast these kids really do grow up...and be thankful for the time I still have with them. I can even look back on those situations in my life that really were tragic -- deaths, sicknesses; etc. --- and experience the joy of the Lord. How?
Well, I have joy over the fact that this life is temporary. These (stupid) things I go through are all TEMPORARY. If Jesus is Lord of our lives, we have a permanent home with Him in Heaven. So, I can have joy in knowing that I will one day be with Him forever. Even now, He is with me...every single day. He is with me when all these situations are happening. He doesn't leave me just because I'm not in a good mood or because the day isn't going as well as I had hoped. Deep, internal, enduring joy IS mine...no matter WHAT the day brings.