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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Strangest Place to Find Happiness and Contentment

The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.
— Ecclesiastes 7:4 (NIV)
THERE is only blessing in the truth.
Although some truths are hard and we wish we had never learned them, by far and away the best portion in truth is the peace that comes from an aright understanding.
There is a cauterised sort of feeling we get when we are exposed to such a truth that is harrowing, but, in feeling cauterised, there is also the blessing of peace that nothing can harm us, if we can accept such a truth. Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, there are those truths in all our lives, and we call them reality!
Is there any more truth than the fullest kind in loneliness, grief and sorrow?
But, isn’t it a very just irony that we are closer to redeeming peace when we are in the ‘house of mourning’ than when we are in the ‘house of pleasure’! The house of pleasure still involves much jostling and revelry. We don’t want a good thing to end, yet all good things do just that: end. At least when we are in the house of mourning we know it can’t get much worse. We can hope upon hope. But that isn’t the end of it; not by a long shot.
There is happiness and contentment available in sadness and loneliness. It’s because we are safe with God, though unsafe in the world. The threats that impinge us here send us to eternity in our minds and hearts. And eternity is where the true source of lonely contentment and sad happiness resides.
This lonely contentment rests in the reality of things. We would prefer them better, but, because we accept the things we cannot change, we also accept this solemn season of life. Sad happiness is also the resignation of acceptance. We can be happy enough with the hope we have for a different future. There is a sanguine melancholy in us.
There is such a state as what is discussed above, if, indeed, you are a sceptic.
The qualifications of experiencing such diversity in mood and emotional outcome are simply to believe in and rely upon God.
***
The strangest place to find happiness and contentment is within sadness and loneliness. There is nothing that can be taken away from us in the truth of those locales.
There is a safety in sadness and we are never closer to God than when we are lonely.
The great advantage of grief is when we go to God in sorrowful and lonely reliance, our Lord becomes realer than ever before. Faith is the benefactor of grief.
© 2015 Steve Wickham. 

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