Sunday, June 12, 2011

Chosing Joy

Like I mentioned in my last post, I've been wrestling with joy. I have all this theology in my head, but living it out, enjoying the fruit of it, is another thing. I am fighting to live out of the reality of who I am in Jesus. I've noticed with some of my friends, as we've gotten older the pressure of the world becomes both more stale and heavy. It's this constant voice that tells us that we don't have enough. Not enough money. Not enough security. Not enough love. It's the world of marketing at its best. We NEED more. So while the world around me tells me that I need something more, I am fighting to see my everything in Jesus. He is enough for me. He is. I am fighting to believe it. It's not always hard to live it. There are moments of grace when I see and feel His goodness in such a tangible way. There are moments when I realize how wonderful He is, how great His love is, how unbelievable it is that He has loved me despite my rebellious heart. Moments when the good news of the forgiveness of my sins and the restoration of my relationship with my creator is so sweet that it fills my heart with joy. Those moments are precious gifts from the Lord. So I will treasure them, and store them up in my heart for the times when I can't feel the reality that I know to be true.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Making Jesus ultimate

I've been struggling over the last few weeks with some big truths that have made themselves into my head but aren't settling in my heart. For example: Jesus is my joy. Yep, I believe this with my brain. I know this is true, but I don't feel it is true. I feel like I get a lot more joy from other things. I know I should get joy from knowing Jesus but really, when I am honest, I spend a good deal of time and energy trying to find sources of joy outside of Jesus. This isn't to say that we shouldn't ever find any joy in any place other than Jesus. But as I was explaining recently to a friend, I need to be very jealous of my relationship with God and if I see that something is distracting me from Him, or stealing my affection from Him, I need to "alejarme" (to move away from) that thing.
Or let's talk in terms of idols. No, not little wooden statues that people bow down to, but things both abstract and concrete that we put our hope or value in. Things that make or break us. Success, money, our homes, comfort, friends, husbands. Usually the things we make into idols aren't bad in and of themselves. It's what we do with them. Things like a good job, a good home, a loving family... these things are good! But when we take these good things and make them ultimate things, that's when the trouble starts.
I've been seeing this play out in the area of love. Of course I want to be loved and to love, to get married... but when I feel like I can't experience FULL joy now because I dont have that, I am making it an ultimate thing. When the truth is that I am fully loved now. I am not lacking anything. I know that in my head and now I am praying that God would make that truth real in my heart.


Last night at ISA I got a LOVELY surprise from my dear friends Beth and Derek Brown- a huge bunch of BEAUTIFUL roses!!! That's right. And not just any roses, but probably my favorite kind of rose. They are multi-colored (yellow and orange) and they have crinkely tops.