I have looked for it in many places to no avail. Sometimes I think I will find it when I cross those things off my list that have been nagging at me for way too long. Other times I think it will appear when I buy that new pair of shoes I have been dreaming about. I have often thought it would be hiding behind the wall of the next house project that will make our house just the way we want. I swear it peaks at me from underneath the chocolate wrapper, but when I am done eating, it is not there anymore.
Happiness is a coy prey that is exhausting to hunt. Just when we think we are in position to capture it, it disappears behind the next big thing our heart desires.
"If only..." sends our happiness into hiding. If only I had a better job. If only I had a bigger house. If only my kids were at a less grueling and hair-pulling and I don’t think I can make it to bedtime without screaming stage.
The lure of these if onlys blind us to The Only source of what we are looking for.
We think our well-being is hiding from us. When in reality, our well-being is found in the One who created us.
This can sound like such a trite and cheesy Christian message. Often, because it is boiled down to something frustratingly untrue.
The Lord does not promise to make our life easier. He does not promise that all will be roses and rainbows once we are following Him.
God does not promise us happiness.
God does promise us well-being. Contentment. Peace.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. – Psalm 16:8 (NIV)
I have a friend going through an unimaginable tragedy. She is swimming deep in the waters of grief. And yet, she is not drowning. Somehow, inexplicably, she has still been thinking of others, even while needing such healing herself. Everything about her circumstances should be sinking her. But there is something deep within that is keeping her afloat.
Her being is not well. But the Lord is her well-being.
This is the hope offered by the Christian life. Well-being. The presence of God with us in this life, and our presence with Him in the next.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. – Psalm 16:9-10 (NIV)
No tragedy of this life gets the final say. We have the promise of the resurrection. That it-sounds-crazy-but-we-believe-it’s-true Christian belief that one day we will rise from the dead, just as Jesus did before us. The promise that one day, we will live in the presence of God in perfect and beautiful community.
In God, in our source of well-being, in our promised future, there is something more than happiness offered. There is fullness of joy.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. – Psalm 16:11 (ESV)
Walk through the Psalms is a series reflecting on the beautiful and timeless poetry found in the middle of the Bible. It is an intentional study of God’s Word, grounded in the belief that God gave us the Bible so we could read it and think about it, even when that is difficult.