Count it all JOY
If you’re anything like me then you love to plan things. Or at least know what is coming up next, right? You aren’t really one for surprises.. Especially the kind that hurt you or halt you. I have definitely found myself in that season before, in fact, I am currently standing in it! It’s hard and it makes you question a lot of things. My worth, my capabilities, my faith, even the very existence of God are all things I have questioned in these seasons. So what do you do when this sadness or confusion comes uninvited?
I don't really know!
That wasn’t the answer you were expecting was it? You wanted a quick “ten things to do when..” list. Or a “pray these things if you want..” list. Right? I know it, I have wanted the same thing! Give me a step by step process of how to be happy, how to be whole, how to be healthy. Break it down, simplify it, better yet put a time limit on it! We are all guilty of wanting to take the easy way, the wide road, the quick route.. But that is not how we are designed and that is not how we will find what we want which ultimately is love, peace and security. Throughout my reading I have found a common trend: God promises to protect us, to guide us, and to establish us over and over again, yet he doesn’t explain how. I am not an expert and I definitely could read some more, but I think there is something valid in God promising those things to us and leaving the how unanswered.
What does Abba ask of us in these seasons of uncertainty? The book of James says he’d like us to count it all joy..haha okay trust me we most likely had the same reaction. “Joy? You want me to be happy when you have stripped me of all my plans, ripped away all my desires and ruined all my hard work?” Except that God didn’t say “happy”, he said joy. There are many definitions and ideas of what joy means, but my favorite came from a pastor named Rick Warren. He sums it up beautifully when he says: “Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.” You see, God doesn’t ask us to agree with his plans or approve them before he enacts them. No. Instead, he asks us to trust Him. To have the quiet confidence that everything is going to be okay. And ultimately, to choose to praise him even when it feels like it isn’t okay.
We want answers to all of our questions but maybe we will find the answers along with real unconditional love, unshakable peace, undeniable security and overwhelming joy when we submit to God and trust in his ability to lead us.