What I realized when I read this verse is that there is a distinct difference between feeling joy in a moment God gave to me, and pursuing those moments as the only way to fill my soul. I don’t need to withhold my joy when I feel it bubbling up, but I do need to be sure that what I seek is not simply that joy.
He gave us pride in career achievements, baby giggles, Girl Scout cookies, really good coffee, and romantic dates with our spouses to remind us that everything is not in fact meaningless. He gave us those precious gifts to remind us that the toil is not in vain, and that even those moments pale in comparison to what is awaiting us in heaven.
I am not worthy of this call on my own, but because he chose me for the call of motherhood, I am worthy. It is not my own patience, my own shining parental abilities, my own strength, or my own ideas. It is hands down, plain and simple, only the grace of God that enables me to get through each day.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:5-7
“When life is hard for someone, and Satan is desperately trying to get in and wreak havoc, the last thing he wants is an encouraging word from God via a friend or loved one. He wants control, he wants people at their weakest, he wants to discourage any good thought. Our words, our testimonies of God’s goodness are what will pull people out of that mess. ..”
We have to trust that where we’ve seen God work before, where we’ve seen him faithful, he will always be faithful. And even if we haven’t walked hard rocky trails before, we’ve seen other people run them with abandon. We’ve seen men and women of faith who have walked before us, and we have seen God be faithful. We need to trust that if there is beauty for them, God also has planned beauty for us.