The fire crackles, music plays quietly and voices hum around us. A girl that I’ve known since she was a bouncing eight year old sits next to me. Two Thousand and Fourteen will see her celebrate sweet sixteen and I can’t help but smile at the young lady who I now engage with.
She wears a denim coloured jumpsuit which stretches all the way to her ankles. Her blonde curls fall down her back and her blue eyes look at me with such innocence, such purity.
You see Millie, my teenage buddy, stands at five feet and eleven inches. Her bone structure perfect for modeling, her long, lean limbs a desire for any photographer. She has been scouted and is now signed with a top agent here in Sydney Australia. She has been pursued by professionals to launch an international career by walking the run way-Invitations to Paris and meetings with New York’s finest, yet she has declined.
“Do you wanna do it?” I ask her. “Make a career out of this?”
Her answer literally stops me in my tracks.
“I just want to do what God wants me to do.”
Her blue eyes dance as she replies, joy so apparent as she speaks. This young teenage girl has an opportunity that most adolescents would give their right arm for, yet she is not moved or shaken by the lights, glamour and fame.
Did you catch it?
There was JOY as she spoke.
Joy is a noun that we normally attach to circumstances and occasions.
Not living for God…surely.
So the question’s beg to be written.
How or where do you find JOY in the daily grind?
When dishes pile high and kids linger at your feet placing another demand on you,
When your husband works long hours and intimacy lacks,
When the cash flow is limited and stress overtakes,
When you look in the mirror and discontent breeds,
When work or university feels like a heavy burden,
When a thirst for more (you fill in the blank) consumes your thinking and jealousy sneaks in,
When health fails and frustration is felt.
Do you dig into God’s word and fall to your knees?
Or do you, like me, look for it in something that will give you a fleeting moment of happiness?
We search in the wrong places hoping joy will be discovered, encountered. Yet a restlessness is felt once that moment passes.
Instead of handing our worries over to Jesus, we prefer to have white knuckles, holding onto control with all our might hoping for an internal change.
Yet change can’t occur until God is in control. For when we allow Him to have the reins, then He can guide us into the place of belonging-The exact position where He can use us so we meet our full potential.
Without Him, direction lacks, and peace, deep peace, is not fully experienced.
So would we say that joy is dried up, extinguished, when peace no longer exists?
The very attribute that Jesus promises we could experience every day, every hour, every moment is stolen because peace is not practised therefore not present?
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Jesus
Releasing control and handing it back to God, regardless of outcome, seems to be the obvious answer so peace can reside deep within our heart. This in turn gives us a tranquil existence which provides the opportunity for joy to manifest what shapes our outlook on life.
Joy. It is there for you to own should you want it.