Saturday, November 10, 2012

Outrageous Joy

Life doesn't always have joyful circumstances, rainbows, and smiles. Along the journey of life we also have heartache, disappointment, and trials. We live in a fallen world. God loves us however and knows our pain during these tribulations. He mourns with us during the loss of a loved one, have financial burden, lose a job. He is with us through all circumstances.

Good or Bad.

He comforts us so that we may comfort others. When you are going through "tough" stuff are you able to comfort others in the end? Sometimes it's easier to hide in our heartache and be content in those situations rather than be courageous and embrace the pain and soak in the joy. It was once easier for me swallow my pain rather than embrace God's love and comfort to equip me to comfort others. God didn't give up and neither should you. He loves you too much to leave you there.

So where do we start? When I needed lifted from a place of sadness and heartache I prayed. I prayed daily. Some prayers were long and specific and some were as simple and heavy as "Lord, I need you". "Lord, please give me strength to face this day."

When my husband and I lost our first child during her birth I was absolutely heart-broken. There was a period of time where I didn't want to get out of my bed. It was easier to hide under the covers and escape the world, the pain, the reality. I remember the day I finally took the first step joy and my prayer to God was "Lord, please give me the strength to take the blankets off of me and firmly press my feet on the floor." There were many prayers and more courage to actually get me to walk out of the room. But I did one step at a time with God's comfort and hope.

Six years later and a few more trials along the way I have my feet firmly pressed on the ground. I can honestly say I have JOY. Is it rainbows each day? No.There are still trials I face. But there is HOPE, LAUGHTER, and JOY through it all. Joy is a choice that comes through an attitude of confidence in GOD and embracing his mercy.

I rejoice in God's good works. I rejoice in the sunshine, laughter, my children's smiles, God's gifts. The gift of compassion he has given to me. The gifts that he embedded in my children and husband. Everyday you can find at least one thing to be joyous about. Write a list of just three blessings each day and Thank God. I also encourage to thank God for trials too so that you can be used for His glory through my experiences.

"A cheerful heart has a continual feast." Proverbs 15:15

There was a story told that Mother Theresa was once asked what the job description was for anyone who might wish to work alongside her in the grimy streets. She mentioned only two things: the desire to work hard and a joyful attitude. I am certain she had both.

I want to wake each day with Outrageous Joy!


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