Every once in a while, my two year old daughter, Grace, puts her tiny little hands on my cheeks. She searches my face then smiles. "Are you happy, mama?" When I smile, she nods knowingly with a big grin. My two year old has the soul of someone who has lived a full life and has the wisdom of the ages to prove it. She amazes me for so many reasons however this one inspires me. Every time she does this, I think to myself, "Are you really happy?" Regardless of my life's circumstances, Grace reminds me what true happiness is. It has nothing to do with whether I can afford that new pair of shoes or a fancy new car, it has to do more with deep in my gut. My joy does not have to be based in my circumstances.
We as a culture collect stuff, we love to go out and buy stuff. For every holiday, every special occasion even if that special occasion is Tuesday, we love us some stuff. But once we have that, "I'm gonna die if I don't get this" thing, how long does that feeling last? Toys get worn out, cars lose their new car smell, gadgets are outdated before they leave the store. After you've had the "stuff" awhile... really, where is your joy?
So what happens, of course, is that we find something else to pin our hopes and happiness on. "The next big thing". Our neighbors got a new fancy car, WE need a new fancy car. The devil just keeps spinning that in our heads and in our guts: "You are not good enough unless you have..."
I hear conversations like this a lot lately. Where we all know we should not allow objects to fill our happiness void. Yet I admit, I can still do it. I have spent the last three months learning not to allow my joy to be based in my circumstances. When bad things happen, I pray for the strength to be happy regardless. When we don't allow the devil to win, he will eventually retreat. I do not want my life to be filled with stuff just to make myself happy. I don't want to spend my life craving something that once I have for it a while, I need something else. I want that void to be filled completely. Jesus died to give us that. I'm learning to remember, none of that stuff will fill the void left just for God. Like my own little God shaped hole that He fills completely.
Before you allow your mind to fill up that God shaped hole in your heart, ask Him, "Is this need something you put on my heart, or can you fill me up?" He will fulfill all our needs in an unbelievable way.
He fills my needs when I look at Grace and she is holding my face smiling and nodding. "Are you happy mama?"
"Yes, sweet Gracie. I AM happy. Thank you for teaching me"