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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Can’t Touch This... Joy





MOODINESS is something I can be given to, if I’m honest. These days my moods are but a flicker of what they were, and normally I’m quite quickly repenting of my wicked way, confessing my wrongs and making the amends I need to make.
On a recent Saturday morning I arose with a spring in my step. Something in me said, “Satan, you can’t touch this!” I wasn’t even aware, really, but as I strode through test after frustrating and patience-rending trial, I noted a joy from within me, welling up into a crescendo of praise.
I puttered around a shopping mall car park for fifteen minutes looking for a space, and for the first time in my memory I patiently prayed that others might find their space. It was a real log jam. Then I noticed a woman in her 60s, stressed out by the shopping experience, with two-year-old grandson in tow, juggling an overweight shopping trolley (we call ‘carts’ trolleys in Australia) toward her car. I put my hazards on and offered to help, not thinking initially that this might be my way of getting a car parking spot. As she packed her car, I offered to return her trolley, and then said, “Actually, I might use it,” to which she replied, “Please take my spot.” She was in a position to bless me and she did so.
I was returning a car battery (I’d purchased the wrong one). Normally, I’d be quite jaded to have to return something like this, on a busy Saturday, and still be no closer to fixing my car. But I was being blessed with the perspective I needed to just relax and enjoy this Saturday ride.
When I returned the battery there was a relatively long line, but I got chatting to a woman and mentioned my day was going well; that my wife would be especially happy that the tests and trials of the day weren’t pushing me into frustration. She smiled. You know, I think she understood.
What I learned in all of this, with everything seemingly going against my plans, my time, and my intent, was that God reigns supreme; we win some and we lose some. When we accept God’s plans, God’s time, and God’s intent, then we feel blessed despite our circumstances.
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When we rise above the petty tests and trials of affliction life throws us – because we can – and because nothing can touch our joy when we resolve to be joyous – we can bring God’s joy to others.
When we resolve to be joyous – in spite of our circumstances – God gives us initiative, the opportunity, and the power to be joyful.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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