Singers and dancers alike will say, 'My whole source of joy is in you'.Owww!! I was guilty of trying to find joy solely in my circumstances, my family, my surroundings, when all along my WHOLE source of joy should be found in God. Yes, our families, homes, jobs, friends, hobbies and pastimes can bring us joy, but if any of those things are my whole source of joy, well...I have sinned. I am the first one to say God gives everything to enjoy( 1 Timothy 6:17), but our focus should be on God who richly provides all things to enjoy. We find ourselves with adjustments, seasons of life and transitions. Babies grow up and live their own lives, jobs come and go and we find retirement brings a whole new way of life. Sickness and death interrupt our tranquil lives, and the snow never stops in the Northeast. Despite circumstances and the weather, the goal is to find our whole source of joy in God bringing true contentment. (Philippians 4:11)
I confess... I sinned this week. I confess the past six months have not always been the easiest. Why am I always looking for easy anyway? Yep, this post may ramble, but you will keep reading, right?!! It was September 2014 when Justin and Melissa decided to make good on their
threat dream to leave New York and move far west to Wyoming. Not two weeks later, I drove with Hannah cross country to move her to Arizona where she is happily living and working. In January, Kelsey left dreary, snowy, cold NY for St. John Virgin Islands. She too, is having a blast. Who wouldn't where it's hot and humid in the winter? Lauren still lives at home, but is busy with school, youth group and friends, and I know she too is dreaming and planning of what her future might hold. None of this is new 'news', I've written about family here before. So, what's this about confessing sin?
If you know me well, I have a few mantras, one being, family is huge. Extended family, siblings, my own dear family, church family and life long friends. I love BIG. Is it possible to love too much? Is it possible to sin when I put people whether friends or family in the place that only God should be? Is Jesus, who loves me more than I could ever imagine at the center of my heart, mind and soul, or is it my loved ones?
Enter sin. I won't go into the gory details. If you want details, ask the guy who has loved me no matter what when I put my kids where the Lord should be. I confess they have been my joy for a long time. And now that they are adults and we are beyond the terrible twos and the challenges of raising teenagers, I love them and my heart is full of joy over the beautiful people they have become, which I credit the Lord for.
Earlier this week I found myself focusing on what I no longer have and not what I do have. I confess I was sad for me, I was focusing on me, that day was a day filled with self and self-pity. I will spare you the rest, but will tell you what God did for me that evening. I was reading in the Psalms, Psalm 87 and the last verse declared me guilty of finding joy somewhere else.