i don’t know if i rejoiced a single day this week. i am most definitely not proud to admit this.
i have many “excuses” why this is true; namely because of spending more than 8 hours this week in la traffic [i really highly dislike driving], still dealing with the emotions of my dad’s death, and trying to trust God amidst some uncertainties with alex’s job.
just now i read a puritan prayer that really shook me [i like reading the dead guys… if they are still being published, you pretty much know that it has to be good].
“for whatever a man trusts in,
from that he expects happiness.
He who is the ground of thy faith
Should be the substance of thy joy”
wow! that woke me up a bit. i definitely expect happiness. who doesn’t in this culture? we are told that we should always be happy, in fact the pursuit of it is an "unalienable Right" according to the declaration of independence. and if we cant bring that about ourselves, there is a pill that will fix it.
the problem comes when i am expecting it to come from a place other than jesus christ.
“whence then come heaviness and dejection…
art thou seeking rejoice in thyself
from an evil motive of pride and self-reputation?”
another gold nugget of conviction. when I get mad at the la traffic and annoying drivers, i am not only putting myself first, but worshiping myself, believing it needs to all revolve around me and go according to my plan.
and why exactly did i lose my joy in the first place? he answers it here:
“thou has nothing of thine own but sin,
nothing to move God to be gracious,
or to continue his grace towards thee.
if thou forget this thou wilt lose thy joy.”
there is no question that i lost sight of this this week… how undeserving i am of God’s continual lavish gifts to me, how i was dead in my sin, weak, ungodly and moreover, God’s enemy (all from romans 5:6-10). in addition God has helped me to “leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity” [well, I progressively maturing, not “there” yet]… which hebrews 6 makes clear only happens “if God permits”. Heavy words!
the writer finishes with:
“let God be all in all to thee,
and joy in the fountain that is always full.”
*always* full. nothing else can boast that.