Saturday, August 17, 2013
Joy or Happiness
JOY VS. HAPPINESS: We had this discussion in SS not too long ago. What I know from experience, reading The Bible and speaking to others is this....I believe that you can have joy without having happiness. I also believe that you can have happiness without having joy. For me, joy is internal....the feeling of contentment, peace and elation. For me joy comes from loving Jesus and knowing He loves me. Joy does not usually result from circumstances. Happiness is something that oftentimes results from circumstances. It is fleeting and comes and goes. Joy is there always if I allow it to be and allow myself to be filled with it. Happiness is not...some days things happen which cause great sadness...and happiness is hard to find. When I'm having a day like that, I will often stop and think about Jesus' love for me. It doesn't always remove the sadness, but it certainly enhances the joy. Sometimes sadness is overwhelming, and I can get lost in it momentarily; but sometimes happiness is overwhelming, and I can get lost in it momentarily as well. Joy, however, is always there; and I love getting lost in it. Oftentimes the same thing that causes me to be sad can cause me to feel joyful too. Today was a day of sadness...remembering the loss of a sweet baby boy....8 years ago today was one of the hardest I've ever experienced. Watching my sweet friends lose their son in childbirth was devastating for all who love them. However when I think of my sweet friends, sadness is not what I think of. Joy is definitely what invades my thoughts....joy and gratitude. Because of the loss of their son, they ran open armed to Jesus and have allowed Him to rule their lives. It has been a beautiful thing to witness and share, and I wish everyone I know could meet them and feel it too. I was sitting in the movie theatre today with 3 of my kiddos and feeling so overwhelmed with sadness. I wasn't thinking about my friends or their boy but about other things that have made me so very sad. I couldn't concentrate on the movie and had the urge to run out, so nobody would see me crying. But then my youngest, Elliot, came over and crawled into my lap. Snuggling up with her, smelling her, holding her little hand, feeling her warm body completely resting on me calmed my spirit; and my sweet friends' boy came to my mind. As I held her, I thought about how they have longed to hold their boy and how much they love Jesus because of their pain and longing; and my spirit calmed and the joy was there.