A big name store has a new Christmas slogan: REAL JOY. GUARANTEED.
As I read it, while strolling through the aisles of new appliances, I had to smile. Really? Can you put a guarantee on something like joy? Joy feels so fleeting. I experience moments of it, but the moments are quickly replaced with the mundane, mechanical numbness of life.
I lost a great blog post a few weeks ago. Well, to me it was great. Last month, some bloggers with Compassion traveled to Ecuador, and as I read their daily blogs, something in me was changed, and moved. My heart expanded to the bursting point, and I poured it all out...and then lost it. It got erased, deleted, and I tried recovering it, but it was gone; which felt like a big deal to this non-writing girl. My heart was all right there, on the page, and I was so happy to have captured how I felt in words...and then, with an accidental click, it was gone, leaving me under a crushing pile of disappointment.
Disappointment can steal our joy, and abbreviate our thanks. We are disappointed because our lives didn’t turn out the way we thought they would, or the friendship ended, or the kids are habitually fighting, and the marriage is harder than we thought it would be, and why don't things just go right for once?!
But what if we took each disappointment as a challenge to give thanks? For what has been appointed to us?
The blog post was deleted...thank You for making all things new.
The baby is sick again, I can’t go to bible study...thank You that we have a home to snuggle down in, for healing.
The kids are fighting again...thank You for children, for siblings, for healing words, hugs, and laughter.
The friendship is over...thank You for years of life-giving fellowship.
Life doesn’t always go the way we expect it to. But the act of giving thanks in all things leads us to a greater end---JOY. Gratitude equals joy, and joy equals contentment, and contentment leads us right back to gratitude, and if I could just capture this, this equation of laying down disappointments and inserting gratitude, I just might find what my soul aches for---lasting, real joy.