100% Happy?

I just had to share this little picture. E and I were having breakfast this morning and he loves oatmeal. He also loves raisins in his oatmeal; me – not so much. I guess that’s why the raisin box was sitting with this side to me across the table. I couldn’t help but notice this little sign on the back of the box. You know me, I couldn’t help but draw an analogy – not to breakfast but to real life.
They don’t want you to just be happy; they want you to be ONE HUNDRED PERCENT happy!
I thought of a dear friend and something he said from the pulpit years ago. “Happiness depends on happenings but JOY depends on Jesus”. Pretty straightforward, really.
Can we ever be really happy in this life? Maybe. Sometimes. One hundred percent? I doubt it. But the joy that Jesus gives is everlasting, eternal, deep, abiding.
This is really timely, being that we just had one of the most difficult nights in GriefShare last night. It was the night we “tell our stories”; who we lost, why we came, etc. It is a night of remembrance, tears and pain. There is no happiness in that room, only the emotions we feel as we relive the pain of the loss with everyone else in the room. After we finish, I ask everyone to take a huge deep breath and let it out slowly, then take another. You can hear the rush of air and the release of the heaviness and angst. We dismiss and people go home to live and fight another day. But, as time goes on and they return night after night to express emotions, shed tears and hear God’s truth about pain and suffering, something begins to happen. One bears witness with another and I begin to hear things like, “I know just what you mean” or “I had those thoughts too”. We find we are not alone with our feelings, our fears, our doubts and, if we spend all our time with them, they will overpower us and force us to live defeated lives.

I would suggest to you we are NOT defeated! Quite the contrary! We are sons and daughters of the Most High God; the Creator of the Universe and everything in it! Wow, how’s that for an eye-opener? It should open our eyes and our hearts to trust the One that not only hung each star in the night sky but knows the number of hairs on our heads. Over 300 times in the Bible, God tells us not to fear. He knows our human tendancies so He provides help to overcome with Phillipians 4:8.

I know things may not be going your way right now. They sure aren’t for me. I know it’s hard to get up and put a smile on your face; sometimes it might be hard just to lift your head. We all go through the “valley” of trial and trouble but…take comfort, my precious friend. Our Heavenly Father will not only see you through that valley, He will walk with you every step of the way. Contrary to what some may believe, we (as Christians) are not – and were never – promised a perfect life with no problems. Corrie Ten Boom once said, “If you’re riding a train and it passes through a dark tunnel, you don’t tear up your ticket and jump off. You sit and trust the engineer.”  Wise words.

In the midst of my “valley” today, I think I’ll sit, “meditate” and trust the engineer. It is my heartfelt prayer that you will too.

“Finally, brethern, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworth – meditate on these things.” Phillipians 4:8

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