Newsflash: Joy, peace, and hope aren’t in our circumstances.
Oh, sure, sometimes we believe we see them there, but I think it’s because our circumstances are like the surface of a puddle of water.
Sometimes its possible to look at the surface of our circumstances and see peace, joy and hope reflected there. But at other times our circumstances are all stirred up and in turmoil, and no matter how we squint and strain, we just can’t see anything good reflected there.
In those times, it’s tempting to think that our joy and hope and peace are lost forever, but, when you think about it, that’s kind of like a child who sees the moon in a puddle, stirs up the puddle with a stick, then looks into the murky muddy water and cries because she thinks the moon has been lost.
And yet it was never there to begin with.
Like that child, are we confusing the reflection with the real thing?
Mud is real. Stress is real. Pain is real. Loss is real. And, stirred up in our lives, they can definitely obscure our peace, joy and hope. But as long as our peace, joy and hope don’t live in our circumstances, we’ve only lost the shine and not the substance.
So where DO peace and happiness and hope reside?
Where the storms can’t reach. In ourselves, in our faith, in the never-changing nature of God. In the transforming sacrifice of Jesus Christ. In the power and comfort of His Holy Spirit. In our ability to love those around us and, when we lose people we love, in our ability to keep on loving. In the healing quality of time and in the resilience of the human spirit. And in the truth that we are loved and known by a Heavenly Father who will not abandon us on even the stormiest and muddiest of our days.