Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, happiness is not. It is not “happy” that I strive for, it’s the joy of the Lord! Happy is my emotion that rises and falls as life, and my own decision-making, dictates. This truth is the landscape for my ever-changing mood.
Recently, I have had the great opportunity for some “happy” in my life. The wedding of a good friend, my daughter’s visit home, and meeting new people have all produced a happiness in my heart over the last few days. God is the giver of good gifts.
My general feelings of lightheartedness, over the past many months, have been somewhat stifled. There are events and activities that have produced an “enjoyable experience,” but it’s not the same as being happy. Maybe happy has a sense of hope or a more carefree attitude about it? At any rate, I have not visited often with happy.
God provides moments of happy in the midst of troubled times. And, as one continues to move toward the mouth of that valley…where everything begins to open up into lush, green pastures, God sprinkles more happy moments into life. These gifts from above encourage the weary traveler to “strengthen up!” You’re getting there!
Of course, happy, like a match, can burn bright for a moment and then slowly, steadily…go out. Also like a match, that initial fire can light something, such as the wood in the fireplace, that grows into a much larger, steady flame, warming those nearby. The warm, consistent dancing flames in the fireplace are joy. Sparks and quick burning materials are nice and fun to watch, but when it settles, joy is left to firmly stand on.
When happy comes around, though, I must not let it get away. My goal shall be to embrace the warmth it provides along with the excitement in the stomach and hope for the future. Whatever the initiator of happy, provided it’s a Godly motivator, I must take time to feel it. Not allow guilt or sorrow to steal the moment. Happy may be the gifts that God gives to let me know He loves me and has not left me! I will gladly accept His graciousness.