Finding Joy

Blessed to have heard, and embraced with all my little girl heart, the gospel message at an early age, I wanted nothing more than to please God. Truthfully, I wanted to please everyone – so of course I wanted the Lord to be happy with me. Evidenced by the many times I raised my small hand to receive Jesus into my heart. I guess I wanted to make sure He hadn’t missed me – or, perhaps, that my Sunday School teachers understood I was a good girl.

Looking back at that little girl now, I feel a tenderness in my heart toward her. How easy it is for young to minds to process doctrinal teachings, words that don’t translate well from adult language to that of children, and come up with a unique theology all their own.

I remember sitting in rapt attention, listening to visiting missionaries, evangelists or people of my own acquaitance give their testimonies. Invariably, at least to my young ears, the one unifying theme was a resistance on the person’s part to the call of God on their life and, after a series of disastrous choices, ending up in the very place they had so hoped to avoid.

Ah well, I thought, this means I will one day find myself in the deepest, darkest jungles of South America because I can’t think of a scarier place to be. And, obviously, God always makes you go where you least want to be. I will be doing good, but I won’t find much joy.┬áThankfully, I’ve gotten over that and see things a bit more clearly. Or have I?

Why then, do I find it so difficult to believe God would bless the work I love doing best? Or, more often, why do I resist the tug on my heart because I think the Lord is asking me to do something I won’t like and certainly wouldn’t do well?

The answer isn’t a comfortable one because, as I’ve thought about it, it all comes back to the one thing the Lord has been speaking into my heart all my life – trust. Trusting He is who He says He is and that He will do what He has promised to do. He is a good Father; He knows me better than I know myself; the plans He has for me are good plans.

The truth is, when I am obedient – when I step out and do the next thing He is calling me to do – it is in that very place I am surprised by joy. Where my fears dissolve into peace. Where I find unexpected fulfillment.

The little girl me failed to see the rest of the story. She was so fixated on the doing, she missed the Savior. I don’t want to do that any more.

“Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart. And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, and He will make your paths straight and smooth (removing obstacles that block your way). Proverbs 3: 5,6

“You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11



One thought on “Finding Joy

  1. Iris

    What a great message about trust. I have been thinking a lot about the things that I might have not done the Lord has called me to do. Working through that with a heavy heart.

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