That’s what these are, just musings, just some thoughts, along my life’s journey.
We’ve been stuck in the house for two days, unable to get out because of an ice storm yesterday, and today the moisture has turned to snow. The television stations reported power outages, massive accidents, water main breaks and hazardous driving conditions. But the snow just kept coming down–large, lazy, silent snowflakes. “How could something so beautiful,” I thought, “make everything so very bad?” Was that what Eve thought when the serpent offered her the fruit?
Four days ago when I called my mother, who lives in Indiana, she was excited about a new potato soup recipe. She highly recommended it, said it was great comfort food, told me to “google it” on the web, and I promised her I would. But I forgot about it. Two days later in an email, she wanted to know if I had tried it. I found it and printed it off right then, adding it to a stack of recipes I would try one day. But with a second day of house confinement imposed upon us by the weather, I decided to turn to potato soup for comfort. I can never remember making potato soup before. It took only about 30 minutes, and I tweaked the recipe a little, adding more cheese and spices. James and I both liked it, but we agreed I might not make it again until the next ice storm. It was comfort food, but I think the comfort was in the making of it, the process of being creative and the anticipation of homemade soup on a cold winter day. That’s the way it is with joy. I find joy in Christ in the process of working out who He is calling me to be, in the creative processes He is using in my life and in the anticipation of future worship. It’s like the Psalmist said, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord.” Psalm 122:1. He was excited at just the prospect of worship.
I love reading, probably go through a couple of fiction books a week, digest several chapters from a variety of books in preparation for the weekly Bible study I teach, and browse/surf countless webpages for research and entertainment. Rising up from off the pages like signposts on a stretch of desert highway, some phrases catch my eye, make me strain to discern exactly how these words stir my soul, make me pause, cause me to catch my breath for just a second. Here are a few from this week’s reading:
“Joy is not the absence of pain, but the presence of God.” –Teilhard de Chardin (quoted by Ron Dunn in his book When Heaven Is Silent.) These words seemed to leap straight from the page to my heart because I was hurting for someone, feeling their pain, and their pain had become my pain, and I wanted to be rid of the pain, to regain my joy. No need to do that, though, I was reminded by this thought. His presence was with me and this is my joy forevermore, even in my pain.
Jonathan Edwards wrote on our being satisfied with God : “God is the highest good of the reasonable creature, and the enjoyment of Him is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied.” Is this how I think about God? Do I find enjoyment in Him? Joy comes, I think, as a response to something I am experiencing. Say, for instance, I am reading to my grandkids and they are delighting in the story and we are laughing and joking about the characters. I’m enjoying this experience. It gives me joy. I believe we enjoy God in the same way, though it is far better than this earthly joy. The more often we share His words together, the more often we talk together, the more enjoyment I find in Him and my soul is indeed satisfied in Him.