Journal Entry ~ 11/21/17

1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD! 
2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, 
3 who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!  - Psalm 119:1-3

I have just loved being in this scripture this week.  Meditating on its truths have really focused my attention on where my happiness comes from...when I feel at peace, and when I don't. My life doesn't have to be perfect to be happy. In the middle of stormy seas, I can be happy because it's an internal state of being that’s grounded in who God is, not in the things of this world.  I can be blessed and happy no matter what is in front of me because He is the anchor of my soul, He is my stability, He is my happiness.  My happiness shouldn’t depend on what is going on around me. 

Nothing good ever comes from attaching my happiness to something here on earth, yet I still struggle to free myself from this bondage. When I'm not happy, I try to look at my heart and figure out where I am separated from the Lord. Generally, I'm stuck in fear and worry about something, and often it has to do with my children. When my kids are struggling, or when I fear their decisions and their future, my happiness can take a nose dive.  It’s hard for me to watch them walk through the consequences of their choices, so I step in and try to save them.  Far too often, my desire for their happiness determines my happiness and dictates my response.   Sometimes that means I don’t confront an issue I need to confront because it’s easier to just keep the peace, and sometimes that means I rescue them from consequences because I don’t want to see them suffer on their own. I step in and suddenly their problem is my problem, their unhappiness is my unhappiness. My heart can be so tied to theirs at times. 

Just as easily, we tie our hearts and our happiness to our marriages or our spouses, our jobs or our accomplishments, our identity or our possessions. When we look to these things to bring us happiness, we will end up disappointed every single time. God created us with a desire for Him. This desire leaves a hole in our hearts that can only be filled by Him.  Many of us spend a lifetime trying to stuff other things in that hole to bring us happiness, only to end up discovering that people or things in this world simply cannot fill a void created specifically by Him and for Him. That longing for happiness can only be filled by bringing glory to Him. 

This verse lays out His plan for happiness in such a simple way - blessed (happy) are those who walk in the law of the Lord. We keep His statutes and we will find happiness; we walk away from Him, and we lose it. It's as simple as that.  When you find yourself unhappy, begin to search your heart for where you have walked away and you will find your source of unhappiness. Have you been spending consistent time in the Word - every day, alone, and quiet with Him? Are you capturing your thinking, or are you living with a spirit of fear, despair, anger, resentment?  Do you need to forgive someone who has hurt you?  Are you leaning in to biblical community?  Do you attend church and small group every week? Do you apply the truths you learn in both places to your life?  

Being in this Scripture this week has raised my awareness of where I am seeking my happiness. I’m not sure if it’s the chemo, or if it’s the fact that this treatment has launched me into full blown menopause, or if it’s because I rarely leave my house these days, but the anxious thoughts seem to come more often. It takes more intentional effort to get on top of them, but I am able to do so by recognizing where I am looking for my happiness. I've been much quicker to confess my sin of fear, and hand it over to Him...and when I do that he restores my happiness. We all want peace and happiness - I love that we love a God who wants that for us, too...who wants us to live with His peace despite what is happening around us. 

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

Many of you know I have been trying to raise money to replace the uncomfortable caregiver's chairs in the infusion center at Illinois Cancer Specialists.  It is important to me that our caregivers are able to sit comfortably for hours while we receive our chemo treatments ~ we need our caregivers to be at their best so they can care for us at our worst.  Please consider donating ~ every little bit helps!  Here is the link:


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