I will be adding stories, poems & reflections as the year marches on. Take a gander today!
|I choose JOY!
What wonderful words. Let me tell you a story about choosing joy!
It was my sixty-fifth birthday. I had wanted to do something special but, due to family issues, my plans fell through. I still wanted to make my significant coming of age birthday special.
I opted to go off by myself—just me and God.
I will never forget what happened when I awoke that day:
It was amazing. I woke up with an overwhelming sense of peace—peace that was completely independent of the things transpiring in my life at that time—the peace that passes understanding.
What a wonderful birthday gift!
I spent the entire day luxuriating in that warm wonderful feeling. I was so grateful to have one day of this magnificent sense of peace and contentment.
Then came the day after my birthday and the day after that and the week after that and another week...
What was happening? Why had this wonderful thing happened for me? Why was it lasting and lasting and lasting?
Then came a big conflict with one of my adult children. I was upset. My feelings were in stark contrast to the wonderful sense of peace I had been experiencing. What was I to do now?
Here's the thing: The time had come to make a choice and I chose joy. The two feelings were so sharply contrasted! The yucky feeling simply was NOT one I wanted to maintain. The wonderful warm, luxurious peace and contentment was not a feeling I wanted to lose.
But, what about the conflict? Well, would staying in the miserable feeling fix or help anything? No.
I did choose JOY and have never regretted it.
I felt a little guilty at first. It was almost as though it was some kind of obligation to feel like crap when folks in my life were having problems. It felt almost disloyal to feel peace and contentment when others were struggling.
Ya know what, I still chose JOY.
Then came some of my own personal hurdles. I was rejected. I got ill. My home was in need of repair. I made mistakes.
Different circumstances elicited different feelings. Fortunately, I had been telling people about this wonderful experience. I had been demonstrating to others that stepping into God's peace was like stepping from one room to another.
Almost every time I shared this idea with someone, a storm hit in my own life and the time had come to make a choice and, thankfully, I consistently chose joy.
I pray I will continue to make that choice one moment at a time for the rest of my natural life as I look forward to spending eternity with the God who gave us this wonderful gift: the peace that passes understanding.
God will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is staid on HIM!
Written for "Jesus Praise"
Word Count: 480
~ ~ ~ JESUS is LORD! ~ ~ ~