It’s been a real while since I’ve posted anything about my mostly-daily reading of the Bible, but I’m mostly through Psalms when I read at the very end of Psalms 84:
A single day in your courts
is better than a thousand anywhere else!
I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God
than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.
For the Lord God is our light and protector.
He gives us grace and glory.
No good thing will the Lord withhold
from those who do what is right.
O Lord Almighty,
happy are those who trust in you.
I’ve struggled over the years on this topic of “happiness”. I can recall years ago at our Ohio church home a message that talked completely on the Beatitudes (wrote about it under the specific application of Controlling your Reactions) and the relationship between when Jesus says “blessed are ____” and how that related to true “happiness”. I understood it then, but it’s become a bit faded in memory. In the Beatitudes, Jesus lays out a few things that if we do, we will be “blessed” (translate=happy):
- poor in spirit
- who mourn
- hunger and thirst for righteousness
- pure in heart
Well, none of that really say if we trust in God, but I really can’t see myself being merciful or persecuted or hunger and thirst for righteousness, without really trusting in God. What would be the point really in any of it (other than for selfish reasons – i.e pride)?
It’s simple – just trust in God and then you’ll be happy. Right? Of course the ‘concept’ is simple but living it sure isn’t.
Trust God to put my awesome wife Isa first – in time and priority. Date nights, talking about the little things that so easily get skipped. Truly loving her but in time and in actions. Knowing her deeply and intently.
Trust God to put my kids second in my life – and enjoy all the cool little things. Just yesterday my son J and I biked around our cul-de-sac for awhile mainly doing circles. He talked about the ‘sharks’ that are where the sewer cover is and they will ‘get us’ but how his bike can fly with wings… just awesome and something so small that I have missed several times thinking it’s no big deal.
Trust God in my finances – I’m not talking for myself about my savings and the stock market but totally know several people that are really wondering what to do. I’m talking about not wanting to give/share sometimes because it doesn’t “fit” with my plan to build an emergency savings fund; I’m talking about skimping whenever I feel we can on buying things.
Yeah I struggle with this on so many fronts; the ones that come to my head in particular are patience (specifically not trusting in God’s timing and just going ahead and doing when it might be better to wait) and finances (goal is to be ‘frugal’ but many times I’m really just being ‘cheap’ at the sacrifice of others… that’s it’s only post for another day). Oh and dedicating my time more for my family (although I am working towards that better than I have recently) than other things no matter if it is “service” for others.
The good thing is that there are others that write about these topics in various ways that help be an encouragement; there are many excellent books in particular on marriage and parenting, not to mention organizations dedicated to this (one of which I am involved with called Peace in the Home and really could use reviewing the large list of resources they’ve identified).
A better thing is that I have guys I can talk to about these things with; to truly encourage me and then come back and ask me later how it’s going. Call it an accountability group, call it a growth group, call it whatever you want – but I’m talking about some other men that you can confide in and strengthen each other. I’m not the best at explaining this – but Tim is when he wrote G-Men.
The great thing is that I can pray to a God and really rely on something beyond myself. I am well and sure that by myself I really suck at all these things like marriage, parenting and finances. Straight jerk because honestly I get selfish quick. You didn’t say thank you, you didn’t listen to me, we need to save, etc., etc. That’s default me. But through God (specifically Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in me) it doesn’t have to be – there can be another way – another ‘me’. But only if I trust God to work in me … and when I do, I really do know that then I AM HAPPY.