The Joy of God’s Presence

The more we enjoy of God, the more we are ravished with delight – Thomas Watson.

These words give me great joy.  Why?  Because I have found them to be so true.  The more we know of God in our lives, the more we turn to Him during the course of our day, the more we rely on questioning whether our actions are in alignment with God’s heart the more we will find joy in our daily existence.  I realize this is a very heady concept for most.  Most of us don’t turn to God on a daily basis.  We turn to Him only as a last resort to many days, weeks, months, sometimes years of turmoil in our lives when we finally give up and turn to Him for help.  Some of us never get to that point.  We continue with the struggle, thinking we can solve all our problems if we focus, push through, and force the conclusion we feel is right in our lives.  The problem with this “human solution” is that we tend to live with a daily sense of frustration because things are just not going to plan.  We keep fighting to see our preceived outcome come to be but it never quite gets there. 

The very famous management guru Stephen Covey puts in it in a way most of us can understand.  We keep pushing up a ladder of success to find we have it placed on the wrong wall!  Wow, so how do we assure ourselves we are placing our efforts on the right wall?  Well, try asking God.  He is not just a God for the “last resort”.  He is a God of compassion and just waiting to be asked for your help in the big things and the small. 

I finally got to my WALL about 20 years ago when life all around me was falling apart.  I realized one day I couldn’t do it all myself.  I was frustrated, angry, discouraged and just couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong.  Some of the issues in my life involved the near death and severe health of my mother who had given up on life, my marriage was in serious trouble, and things at work seemed hopeless.  One day while having lunch by myself I finally gave it up to God.  I had heard about this idea from an old colleague of mine about 15 years prior and could never really “get” what he was talking about.  On that day, in my heartsick condition, I finally GOT it.  I gave it up to GOD.  I relented my ideas and gave the whole sorry mess to Him.  I told Him I was handing it all to Him, because I couldn’t do it myself any longer (as if I ever could!).  From that day forward things seem to fall into place.  Did it all magically turn to roses –no.  But, things did get resolved to good solution with a lot less pain.  My mother gained some of her strength back and lived several more years.  My professional life made a dramatic turn for the better and I was promoted to a job I would never have imagined would be available for me.  As for my marriage, well that one ended.

Sometimes the answers to our prayers aren’t always what we imagine they should be.  Was I happy with the outcomes.  Absolutely.  But as we are going through the trials, knowing God is going to get us through them to better and happier days does take a leap of faith.  But maybe that is all God is asking of us.  Having us take “a leap of faith” in Him. 

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