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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.
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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