Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Cheerful Heart

I heard it for myself, and it was a sound that I treasured.

We were Skyping with my son, daughter-in-law and two granddaughters. The two girls, Addie and Kacie, are moving targets. They don’t light very long in one place, so I heard them more than I actually saw them.

Eric and I were talking about the latest soccer score when I heard it: three-year-old Kacie broke out singing in her lispy sweet voice. The words were to a song I had never heard before: “Chicken pot pie! Chicken pot pie!”

Kacie 2

Eric says she wakes up singing and doesn’t stop until she goes to sleep at night. She sings songs from Sunday School; “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands”, then waits for us to respond by clapping before she continues. She sings songs from her favorite TV show, “Dora the Explorer“. And as evidenced by her rendition of “Chicken pot pie!” she even creates songs based on what her mom says they are having for dinner!

Kacie takes such great joy in the little things, and lets that joy infect every detail of her life. She is the epitome of Psalm 15:15b: “The cheerful heart has a continual feast...”

I imagine God takes great delight in her.

It true that life isn’t always easy. It can be tough; full of trials and challenges and disappointments. Grief can be an altogether too familiar friend as we experience seasons of devastating loss. But we do have a choice in the middle of those circumstances; to focus on the problems, or on the One who is with us during them.

Don’t get me wrong; God expects us to experience normal emotions. The one who created us knows our frame and remembers He created us out of dust (Psalm 103:13-14). Fear, anxiety and sorrow are part of being human. But He does encourage us to fix our eyes on Him (Hebrews 12:1-3). It takes our center of attention off of our own weakness and places it on His strength, and exchanges our inadequacy for His sufficiency.

It enables us to say, like King David:

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.                                         Psalm 42:5

I think I will learn from Kacie, and choose to focus on the joy of the little things and the One who gives it.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.                                 Psalm 28:7

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.               Psalm 95:1

Further reflection:

1. Is it easier for you to focus on the hard things, or does finding joy in the midst of them come easy to you?

2. How might focusing on God’s presence in all of life’s circumstances change your perspective?

Father, my heart sometimes yearns for life to be easier, yet I know You are with me no matter what. Help me to find and focus on the everyday blessings You give so freely. May my heart find its greatest joy not in circumstances, but in You alone.

No comments:

Post a Comment