More than once I’ve been asked if I’m smokin’ something or if I’m hittin’ the hard stuff a little too early and often. Sometimes, I’m asked both on the same day. Now, while I do have an often cheery disposition, I can’t blame my personality all on genes. I get a kick out of God and He just makes me plumb happy.
But you want to know what steals my joy faster than a politician steals votes? When I am too busy for time with God or time in the Word. Then, my Mary Poppins self does a quick 180 and turns into Cruella DeVille.
Why does this zap my joy? For me, it’s because I begin to see my little world as “all about me.” I become mighty selfish and reek ingratitude. In Beth Moore’s Bible study, Living Beyond Yourself, she describes how abiding in Him and the salvation He brings is paramount to having joy. She says:
“Sometimes we get so wrapped up in ourselves that we become the center of our own universe. Salvation is His. It’s about Him. Following Christ breaks the stranglehold of self in our lives as He becomes the center of our universe. We decrease; He increases (see John 3:30). Joy results.”
My life won’t reflect Him if I’m not spending time with Him. I know seasons come and go where time reading the Bible is difficult if not impossible. When my twins were babies, you can bet your bottom dollar that any quiet time I had was spent taking the world’s fastest shower. I mean no condemnation. Never! But, you can also bet your bottom dollar that when I am able to read through a few verses here and there, my day just goes better and my joy meter skyrockets.
Also? Staying in the Word not only changes me, it changes those around me! Because my demeanor is lifted, I help lift those around me. And when they ask what happy juice I’m drinking, I can tell them Who I’m drinking in, not what.
“Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and delight.” Psalm 43:3-4)