The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10
One of my guilty pleasures is going to the beach. It is where I feel most at home and where I feel the most joy and inner peace. It never gets old, looking out at the vastness of the ocean. It reminds me of how little I am and how big and powerful God is. The beach is where I run to when the pressures of life weigh on me. It is where I go when I need to rejuvenate and refocus. It is where I go to find joy and reconnect with God.
There are so many things coming at us these days, and we spend a lot of time and emotional energy feeling guilty, sad, or confused about our lives. We have lost our joy in the midst of trying to figure it all out. We have all had to make difficult choices for our families and careers. We beat ourselves up for these circumstances we have no control over.
This is not the life I wanted for myself. I should be doing something more. Something different. Something better. But I am not, so I am going to feel guilty. I am not enough. I am not getting it right. I’ll rehash my shortcomings. And worst of all, I will hold my happiness hostage. I’ll dampen it with this broken record of self-criticism. I will take my frustration out on others. I’ll transfer all this feeling onto my spouse, children, friend, or the stranger at the grocery store.
Living this way gets tiring, and it is not what God intends for us. It’s the enemy’s plan, according to Jesus: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
God wants you to live in God’s grace. God wants you to reset your expectations to let go of guilt and reclaim your JOY!
How are you finding joy in these challenging days?
Let us Pray:
Giver of Life,
Fill my heart with Your abiding joy so that I may rejoice in life’s circumstances, in seasons of plenty, and during those seasons when I have very little. In times of hardship as well as those times of great sufficiency.
May Your abiding joy and perfect peace find residence in my heart, as I rest in Your love and trust in Your unfailing goodness. Amen