Have Joy

I've always considered myself to be a pretty positive person. Usually by the time I'm able to lift my head up from a bad situation I've already come up with a list of ways that I can see God using it for good in my life.  

On the other hand, if you've lived much life at all you've probably got a few stories that you will never have an answer to the "why's"...  But if you hang on really tight you will be able to see God's goodness and handiwork even in the midst of much heartbreak.  His compassion and love for us sweeps in and floods over us in times of desperation. 

I recall a devastating time that our family walked thru with my brother. Yes there was much grief and sorrow, sometimes unbearable, that came with the passing days and even years.  But I learned a very valuable lesson about life during this time.  I'll never forget the morning after when I was awakened by the sun brightly shining thru the window, the sounds of birds singing and even cows mooing.. I seemed to hear myself inside screaming "NO, everything needs to stop!"  My heart was broken and time was still going on.  But it wasn't until that evening that I really realized how God created us and the true spirit that reigns within us. That night we all sat quietly in a circle on the floor of the living room. Not a word spoken, what could we possibly say or do that could help my brother and sister in-law at this time?   I noticed from across the room a faint smile appear on his face as he glanced my way.. Not sure where that could've come from I looked down at my little girl sitting on my lap and with no idea of what was going on she was laughing and smiling at him with great joy shining in her eyes.  That moment I realized that JOY reaches down into our hearts and pulls out a smile even when our heart is aching the most. God created us in His likeness and He breathed life into us and He said "It is good"!  Even when evil tries to pry it's way in to our life, we defeat the enemy when we "enjoy the joy" God placed in our hearts. Life isn't whether you're just alive on this earth or not, life is you living that abundant, joy filled, laugh even when your heart is breaking life!  Then you are living a life full of happiness and can truly say like Paul that because of the One that makes me who I am, I am happy anyway!! 

(Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭11-13 MSG) --I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.

~Angella Cook