Café Menu for Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Today’s Special is: Not About My Happy Dance
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend Paris Renae
Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV
In December a girlfriend’s husband had the great idea of surprising her with a cruise as a Christmas present and a birthday present (hers is just days after Christmas). Happy day - he invited us to go along. Next time I saw her in person we did a happy dance together.
Easy, but what about when a girlfriend’s husband calls to let us know she has a brain tumor?
Not so easy… no happy dance included.
Why? Doesn’t God tell us to be joyful always? That’s when we have to separate ‘happiness’ from joy.
Happiness is our attitude, joy is our gratitude…
The friend with the brain tumor had lived a life modeling joy for everyone she ever met. In fact, when we first met, I was a new Christian and I thought the person who introduced us said her name was Glory. I thought, "Wow, how spiritual." After knowing this dear lady for almost 30 years, I can tell you if anyone should have been named Glory, it was Lorrie…
She has shown her daughter, son, husband, and friends how to be joy even if the circumstance is not happy. She does a joy dance with her smile, her kindness, her faithfulness…
So how about us – how can we be joy…full?
The rest of our key verse today gives us the tools… “pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances.” I bet if a study were done of those Christians who have a joy…full outlook we would find: they pray and leave the rest to God and whatever life throws their way they lift up hands of thanks…
Think about it – try it. Spend a day where throughout you consciously pray about almost everything. Spend a day where throughout you give thanks for everything (yes, even the unpleasant). We can’t help but to be joy…full when our focus and our thoughts are prayer…full and thank…full!
Challenge: however much of your day is left after you read this, be purposeful – lift up prayers as you wash the dishes, as you check the mail, as you watch the news. Give God thanks at every turn – the good and the bad – the spilled milk, the sweet note from a friend, the lost keys… you get the idea!
Dear Lord, we are so reward oriented. We want the things that make us do a happy dance, but we cringe at the difficult. Remind us moment by moment that happiness is attitude, but true joy is gratitude. Help us lift grateful hearts as we pray continually. Let our joy in You touch others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
© 2015 by Paris Renae. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Tuesday, 17 February 2015.