Well, that’s quite a question, isn’t it? Sometimes, I think I’d say happy instead. Sometimes I get tired of this hard road that God calls me to, as I have been honest about in many of my posts. Sorry, if I seem whiny. I’m just sharing those feelings because I know I’m not the only one who’s tired, and who feels like giving up. Sometimes, it’s just all too much, and we want to settle for second best, for happy. Happy is so much easier, but it’s so short-sighted. I’ve settled for happy so many times, and boy have I missed out. We are so used to being comfortable, and having those little things that make us happy, that when those things are taken away, we just think we can’t cope with life. Things like Facebook, coffee, nap time, me-time, a clean house, a schedule, a nice routine, fill in the blank. Please notice the finger is pointed at me here, but just thought I’d throw out some examples, I’m sure you are thinking of your own.
Our pastor spoke about this on Sunday, and this is where most of my post stems from. I’d been struggling with those feelings recently. Just feeling overwhelmed and lost in life, and not sure if I was doing anything right, it sure didn’t feel like it. (We all know where feelings get us). I realized as I was listening to our pastor that somewhere along the way, I had traded happy for holy. Holiness is something I really want, and I pray, asking God for it. Well, I think He’s been answering, but not in the way I’d go about it! I realized that because the things that I thought I needed to make me happy were mostly unattainable lately, that I allowed myself to lose my joy. I lost my contentment, because normally this and that happened, but now no more. Another life shift, routine shift, and I got lost in it, and also got lost in a bad attitude. Sitting in church, God showed me the problem. I started seeking happiness instead of holiness without even noticing when it shifted. How sad. How unbelievably frustrated I am with myself that here I am again. I know I’m not perfect, none of us are, but I hate getting caught up in those same cycles. Putting self on the throne instead staying in constant surrender. I guess that’s just how it goes. Now, God seems to show me sooner, and we are further down the journey of this Christian life. I should be thankful for that, and just get back up and keep going. Let’s not wallow, let’s not dwell. God tells us:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1-2
Did you catch that? Keep our eyes on Jesus, that’s the key isn’t it? He’s our goal, He’s what we get, more of Him. That’s what I want, I may not always live that way, but I know for sure He is worth it. I’ve already chased after most things this world has offered, and it’s left me feeling dry and empty. When we keep our eyes on Jesus, we can live above our circumstances. I can NOT lose it when my three year old does (which is constantly, by the way), because I’m fully surrendered to Him. That’s the idea, that we are so focused on Him, we have tunnel vision, and holiness is the end result. He is, after all, perfecting our faith. The Bible is clear about perfecting and how God changes us and molds us, it’s painful. The Bible tells us that this road will not be easy and “in this world you will have trouble.” He then goes on to say, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
I am so glad that God never leaves it there, there is always a “but”, followed by some much needed encouragement. He is refining us, He uses our relationships, especially kids, I can attest to that! Becoming a mother, and being on this journey has been one of the most trying and stretching parts of my life. We ALL have these trying and stretching things in life. They are there for a reason, for our good. For those of us who are following Christ, they are pushing us towards holiness. Are you ready to throw away the myth of happy with me? Let’s trade it for contentment and joy, let’s trade it for holiness, but most of all let’s trade it for more Jesus.
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14