Friday, December 2, 2011

Are You Happy?

What does it mean to be happy? Does it mean having everything you ever wanted? Does it mean being with that special someone? Does it mean having everything to suit you? What about everything going the way you want it too, is that being happy?

Now, y'all should know me better than to think any of the above are true. Of course, being with the man or woman we love is happiness, or it can be. ;) Having things we like can make us happy. We would all agree that a day where everything goes our way feels good. We all like to be entertained, and certainly a good story or funny joke can bring a smile to our faces, but are these things what make us happy?

I heard someone in a Sunday School class say once, "Well, I think God wants us to be happy."

The teacher of the class ignored the woman, which in my opinion was a mistake. But, maybe the answer strikes a little too close to home for us to be able to talk about it, comfortably.

This morning, I was listening to some music, and all of a sudden, I felt this overwhelming joy. Chills ran over me and I smiled for no apparent reason. I thought, "Oh, Lord, I am so happy!" And I am. But, why am I?

Is it the place where I live? Um, no. I live in a house that is too small. The town i live in is so rural, I can't afford even a cab to go to the Walmart. I have to rely on others to go anywhere, unless it is the Post Office the doctor or the playground. Is it my family that brings me happiness? Well, yeah, sometimes they do, but being a stay-at-home mom of 2 can be challenging and hard, sometimes. I don't always feel like laughing. And, yet, I am still happy.

I think that sometimes, folks have trouble being happy, because they have a mixed up view of what happy really is. I think we remember how it was in our school days, and think, "Gee, since I'm not as physically well or have as many friends as I did back then, I'm not happy."

But, true happiness does not come from without, it comes from within. Now, all you fundamental Christians calm down a minute. :) Let me explain. If the true source of joy, happiness, peace and love is living in your heart, then it will be within you and come out of you.

All these kids shows on TV tell you to trust your heart, and believe in yourself. I know they mean well, but folks, there is nothing within us that can give us anything. Jesus says that we are the branches, He is the true vine and God is the husbandman, or the carer of the vineyard. If I'm a branch, then it's safe to say that I can't nourish myself. Do you see branches living after you pick them? Of course not. When you pick a leaf off a tree or a flower from a plant, it always dies, doesn't it. That's how we are when we are not living in the vine, Jesus Christ. We whither and die. But, if we stay connected to the vine, we receive the nourishment that we need and we live. Just in case there is some misunderstanding, I'm talking spiritually, here, not physically.

Jesus lived a perfect life. He did no wrong. Yet, He lived in a sinful world. He got hungry. He got tired. He probably got a splinter, seeing as how His stepfather was a carpenter. He had siblings. If He wanted to go somewhere, He had to deal with crowds of people. He knows what it's like to pay taxes. I'm sure He knows how it feels to have annoying family members, too. :) He knows how I feel. He knows how you feel. And, He cares. He loves us so much that He gave up His life for us. Go read it in John, if you don't believe me. I think it's safe to say, we can trust Him with our hearts, homes, lives, children, spouses, finances, health, in-laws, weight difficulties, and everything else in between.

A few years ago, I was volunteering at an assisted care living facility owned by some friends of mine. I was in the kitchen, and they had those baby monitors, so you could hear what went on in the rooms, and the monitors were turned up real loud in the kitchen. I couldn't help but over hear, one day, as one of the owners went in to a patient's room and started singing at the top of his voice.

"Where do all these happy people come from? Where do all these happy people come from? They come from Jesus!"

The poor patient was unable to speak, but you could hear their grunt, as if to say, "Bah humbug!" :)

But, that did not deter the man's enthusiasm for sharing God's love. And, turns out, he's right. Happiness, the lasting kind can only come from Jesus. Hands down, no other answer for being happy; just Jesus. Why, just saying His name brings me peace.

Y'all have a happy Friday, and a wonderful weekend. If you get lonely, read St. John, or any part of the Bible you wish. Need an uplift, remember I'm praying for you all, whoever you are. All I gotta say is, "God, please bless those who read this blog." He'll do it, too. He is faithful, don't forget.

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