Being joyful in spite of circumstances
Yesterday, I had a very strong craving for curried chicken, and not just ‘ordinary’ curried chicken – the kind that needed to come from M10 or Moby Dick [restaurant]. As the day wore on, my craving grew, and only intensified after a friend laughed at my plight and advised that he was having my desired dish for lunch, then proceeded to describe how great it tasted. Having what can only be described as a mangy and disappointing lunch didn’t help matters.
Still, no curried chicken was in sight. I rang a friend and asked him to come to my rescue; to help quench my discriminating palette. He agreed, but disappointment soon ensued, as his plans got derailed due to car trouble. I was now a desperate woman. Unfocused, mouth watering and only able to see and smell what I longed for, I became very sad.
My last ditch attempt was to stop at the supermarket on the way home and to make some myself, much as I almost never have an evening meal. Two supermarket stops proved futile – who wants solidly frozen chicken at 6:30pm??? I had basically lost hope and was pretty angry by this time. My world was coming to an end, or so I thought.
I stopped at a restaurant and ended up with jerked chicken, only to satisfy my hunger, because I really can’t stand the stuff. My mood was restored, however, as I now had dinner. It was then that I realized how much value we put in things, to the point where not getting what we want, no matter how insignificant the thing, will cause us to become most miserable and to lash out at others (in this case my friend was the recipient of my disappointment) when things appear to not be going the way we want.
Today, I encourage you to remember that true joy comes from God and is unaffected by the things of the world. Joy must not be determined by our circumstances. Rather, our hope in God means we should be able to maintain an attitude of joy, giving thanks always.
Psalm 126:2-3: Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.