The American culture wants us to believe joy comes from how much we can buy or how much money we can earn. Sure, it is fun to buy nice things. I will be the first to admit I love my gadgets and gizmos, or a new purse! However, true joy comes from being grateful for the simple things in life. Listening to children play outside brings back fond memories of my own childhood. Joy comes when someone you love does something simply to make you happy. My husband will sometimes bring me a chocolate treat when he runs errands. This brings me joy, because this gift was freely given.
True joy to me is peace when life is falling apart or overwhelming. True joy is being a small part in God’s plans to make a huge impact on someone’s life. When I was in college I worked at a daycare. One of the other teachers who was younger than I was pregnant out of wedlock for the second time. The father was in jail and she could barely take care of herself and her daughter. She talked with a few of us there, and shared she was contemplating an abortion. Two of the other teachers and I were the few Christians there. We prayed for her. Talked with her about looking for other options. She didn’t want to consider adoption, because she struggled with the idea to give birth to the child and then give it up for adoption.
She attempted three times to have an abortion during her pregnancy. Each time she did not have enough money to pay for it. I think she struggled with this decision too. One of the other teachers who was helping her through this time knew her pastor and his wife wanted to adopt since they were unable to have children of their own. She asked them if they would be interested in adopting this child. They wanted to after some praying and deliberating about the decision.
I know now what a difficult and painful decision this mom made after having my own child. It was not easy for her, and tore her up inside afterwards. However, a childless family was able to adopt and raise him. It was an amazing feeling of joy to be a very small part of a very big decision for the mom and the adoptive family. Today, the boy is in his mid-twenties. I don’t know how it turned out after the adoption. I left for another job and moved away later on. I pray this child knows his mom really loved him, and wanted him to know true joy too, even though it was very painful to let him go.
A Season Of Joy
Joy does not always come from a happy or easy decision. Joy can be found in knowing we are doing what God wants, where God wants, and no matter how bad it gets or painful it is at the time, He still loves us and will help us.
In November we celebrate Thanksgiving, and many of us have family traditions. For some it is a reminder of people we have lost recently or throughout the years as we gather together as families. Whether, this season is one you look forward to or one you dread, it can be a season of JOY.
True joy is not the number in our bank account or even the amount of stuff we can store in our house or closets. True joy comes from being in an intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father, Abba, Daddy. True joy is knowing whose we are, and having peace knowing He loves us.
Has there ever been a child or significant other who has done something to show you love, and it filled your heart with joy? When my son was little, nothing would melt my heart more than when he brought something in from the yard or made a picture especially for me. Our Heavenly Father feels the same way when we seek to be close to him. When we come to Him with our heart, our real heart, joy is the fruit of the relationship. Joy bloomed where a relationship had taken root.
True joy is being able to thank God for where you are, whom you are with, and for the many blessings He has given you even if they are not as you want them. Rarely does life seem to turn out as we hope. Joy comes in knowing and believing God desires the best for us, and sometimes it means we must endure pain to know the sweet joy on the other side of the pain.
This month I challenge you to find true joy in the season as you give thanks to Your Heavenly Father. Find joy in the simple things of life: a beautiful sunrise or sunset, the leaves in the fall, birds flying around, squirrels chasing each other, children playing outside, laughter at a family gathering, spending time with your friends or watching others in a restaurant.
This song reminds me of this post.
Click Here for the complete Lyrics & Background : It Is Well With My Soul
The background story of the man and his family who wrote the song:
“It Is Well With My Soul” is a hymn penned by hymnist Horatio Spafford and composed by Philip Bliss. … This hymn was written after traumatic events in Spafford’s life. The first was the death of his son at the age of 2 and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer and had invested significantly in property in the area of Chicago that was extensively damaged by the great fire). His business interests were further hit by the economic downturn of 1873, at which time he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre. In a late change of plan, he sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sea vessel, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford’s daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, “Saved alone …”. Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died.
Bliss called his tune Ville du Havre, from the name of the stricken vessel.
The Spaffords later had three more children. On February 11, 1880, their son, Horatio Goertner Spafford, died at the age of four, of scarlet fever. Their daughters were Bertha Hedges Spafford (born March 24, 1878) and Grace Spafford (born January 18, 1881). Their Presbyterian church regarded their tragedy as divine punishment. In response, the Spaffords formed their own Messianic sect, dubbed “the Overcomers” by American press. In 1881, the Spaffords, including baby Bertha and newborn Grace, set sail for Ottoman-Turkish Palestine. The Spaffords settled in Jerusalem and helped found a group called the American Colony. Colony members, later joined by Swedish Christians, engaged in philanthropic work among the people of Jerusalem regardless of their religious affiliation and without proselytizing motives—thereby gaining the trust of the local Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities. During and immediately after World War I, the American Colony played a critical role in supporting these communities through the great suffering and deprivations by running soup kitchens, hospitals, orphanages and other charitable ventures. The colony later became the subject of Jerusalem by the Nobel prize-winning author, Swedish novelist Selma Lagerlöf.
Where do you find true joy?
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