Dillon was the youngest of seven kids and got lost in the crowd. For his birthday last week his dad kissed him before work and mom sent him to school with cookies, but that was about it. He was teased at school for his hand-me-down clothes and the girls he liked at youth group never liked him back. He was a late bloomer so he got picked last in soccer. And school was tough for him. He thought of himself as a good Christian, but it didn't seem to be leading him to a happy life.
So he felt justified to go about his days moping a little bit. He didn't want to be disingenuous with his feelings and he had a lot to be disappointed about.
He wasn't super good at praying either (who is?). But one day as he walked to school, sick of this cloud of sadness, he asked God, "Do you want me to be like this? Am I meant to have such a depressing life?"
He didn't hear any answer from God so he turned to Google.
He typed into his phone, "Bible verses about having a happy life."
The heading of the top hit said, "100 verses about being happy." He clicked it and the first verse was:
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
"Wait," he thought. "It's a command to be joyful?!" He usually thought of himself as being obedient. He kept reading. How had he missed this!?
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. -Philippians 4:4
There were like a hundred of these verses?!
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. -Psalms 118:24
This was kind of a game changer. Dillon put his phone into his pocket and took a deep breath. He looked up at the beautiful autumn trees lining the street. The crisp air felt nice. "I guess there is a lot to be thankful about. I'm sick of being this negative. I think I'll try this joy on for a while."
And a smile crept across his face. This felt nice.
Take a moment and try joy on for size. Look up and breathe in joy. What do you have to be grateful for? How does this feel? Would it feel good to make more of a habit of this?
Raw Spoon, 2-10-21