|by Suzie Johnson|
But God didn’t intend for us to be unhappy. If he did, he wouldn’t have created the garden for Adam and Eve. He wouldn’t have promised hope, mercy, grace, and no tears in heaven. And he definitely wouldn’t have sacrificed his son to wash us clean of our unworthiness.
“So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun.” ~Ecclesiastes 8:15
I’ll be the first to admit I like my material things. And if you were sitting in the room with me right now, you’d hear the biggest heartfelt sigh. I so want to live in Christ’s will. I don’t want to be materialistic. I want to look beyond new purses and electronic gadgets and see the true gifts from God. The small things, things that might seem insignificant to others, things that are meant to bring us joy.
by by shho at http://www.sxc.hu/
A couple of nights ago, my husband and I drove down to the beach to eat sandwiches. He spent a long time throwing our leftover crusts to the seagulls. But he didn’t just roll down the window and throw them out. He held one piece at a time out the window and coaxed a one-legged seagull to take each bite from his hand. Just watching him, and the joy it gave him, flooded my heart with warmth. I love seeing that special childlike part of him that appears when he’s talking to our little cat, teaching her to fetch or to speak. These are such simple things, and yet they bring him immeasurable happiness.
One dark, gloomy morning as I was driving to work, people called in to the radio station to share their favorite things. I was anxiously wishing they’d get back to the music when I heard the cutest little voice come through the radio. The little boy sounded about seven or eight years old. Listening to him, I could picture a chubby faced boy with a huge grin and sparkling eyes. He said his favorite thing was when he worshiped God at school. The radio DJ fell silent for a few seconds before finally asking how he worshipped God at school. Quite matter-of-factly, the boy said, “Well, I just hold up my arms and sing, ‘na, na, na, na, na.’”
The DJ laughed and went on to the next caller, but the infectious spirit of that little boy kept me smiling the entire day. I’ll never forget his little voice, and I’ll never forget his words because they filled me with a longing for everyone in the world to be filled with the kind of pleasure that comes from worshipping God with such innocence and abandon.
These are the things that add a special quality to our life. They’re vital to maintaining a spirit of joy. Perhaps this is why God provides them for us to seek out and enjoy each day.
What makes you smile and fills your heart with pleasure? What simple joys do you find in your day-to-day life?
Suzie Johnson has won several awards for her inspirational novels (writing as Susan Diane Johnson), including the Maggie, Lone Star, Heart of the West, and Beacon awards, as well as finaling in the Touched by Love, Finally A Bride, Linda Howard Award for Excellence, and Virginia Fool For Love contests. She is a member of ACFW, RWA, and is a cancer registrar at her local hospital. The mother of a wonderful young man who makes her proud every day, she lives with her husband and little kitten on an island in the Pacific Northwest. And although the beaches are rocky instead of sandy, lined with Madronas and Evergreens instead of Palm trees, and the surf is much to cold for wading, it is still the perfect spot for writing romantic fiction. You can visit her blog, Suzie's Writing Place at http://suzieswritingplace.blogspot.com/.