"Faith in God should bring you a deep feeling of happiness and security, no matter what happens on the surface of your life. Each new day is another opportunity to serve God and improve your relationships with other people. This should bring joy." from TWENTY-FOUR HOURS A DAY by Hazelden
The surface of my life. That phrase stood out as if in bold type when I read this little meditation the other day. The surface of my life is where I usually live--the stuff that fills my head space. Storms rage and swirl around me. The incessant chatter of the headlines--earthquakes, hurricane devastation, political division, economic upheaval, protests like never before in my lifetime. A failing mother and mother-in-law, turmoil within my family, financial instability. Broken or strained relationships, health issues. On the surface of my life I brace against the wind and the cold. I think I can ride out the storms and then life will get peaceful again. Truth is, as soon as one storm passes, another follows right behind. We all have stuff that troubles us, all of the time. It's part of the human condition. I believe God purposefully allows these trials for our good.
Still, I often feel helpless and hopeless, realizing I have no control over whatever comes my way. Yet, the Bible promises that God will never leave me nor forsake me. He is constant. He can be trusted. His plan is ultimately good because He is always good.
So how do I find joy, happiness, and security no matter what happens on the surface of my life? A memory of snorkeling in Kaui comes to mind. The surface was kind of choppy when our guide anchored the catamaran in the little cove, but being stalwart and determined tourists we ventured out eagerly anyway. When I dropped into the water, a deep and sparkling world of tranquility and beauty spread out before me. Schools of small technicolored fish drifted together as if performing a delicate choreographed water ballet. I could almost hear the music. For a long time I followed a sea turtle as he meandered in and out amid the gently swaying seagrass, kelp, and colorful algae that embraced the volcanic rocks and coral. Calmness prevailed. A delicious sense of peace infused my core.
I have a choice. I can choose to live moment by moment distracted by the tempests surging around me on the surface, or I can dive deep into the love of God--get to know Him--fill my spirit more and more with His presence, no matter what happens. When I enter a room, I barrel in looking for something or someone to validate or satisfy the hunger of my soul, or I can enter satiated with God's love, looking for a place to lavish that love on someone else. Choices. In every situation.
"My command is this. Love each other as I have loved you." John 15:12. Jesus provided the example. On the surface, His lot certainly didn't run smoothly. He was persecuted, rejected, and scorned. Eventually, he was executed. But do we read that He ever said, "Why is God letting all this bad stuff happen? Why doesn't He just make my life easier?" Nope. He just kept right on loving everyone He came in contact with. And at the cross, He thought of me. Though His trials increased, His focus never wavered. He looked up and drew strength from God, pointing us upward as well.
How about you? Are you distracted by surface storms that rage and threaten? Are you fearful and anxious? Will you choose today to dive deep into the love of God instead? To take your eyes off your trials and search for the lessons God would teach you through them? Will you purpose to stop living on the surface of your life and begin walking by faith in the One True God? Faith is the way of joy.
A plethora of serious storms churn the surface of life for Striker, George Stanton, and Mabel Crowley in my latest book, THE ROAD TO TERMINUS. But God allows it with ultimate good in mind. When they dive deep into an experience with God, they find the peace they seek.
Pick up a copy on Amazon today. Great book to read curled up with a warm blanket on a chilly Autumn day. Also makes a terrific Christmas gift for those of you (over-the-top-organized people) who plan WAY ahead.