Author: Beth
•Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Every once in awhile, I come across something that just stops me in my tracks. That is what this quote did for me this past week. I just sometimes need it straight and simple: "Beth, I know what is best for you." Even when life is confusing, this is the anchor that gives me indescribable hope. So, I thought I would share it with you all, in case you need a little reminder too. =) Let's keep our eyes on the heavenly, my friends... He sees. He knows. He controls. He LOVES.

Believer, if your inheritance be a lowly one, you should be satisfied with your earthly portion; for you may rest assured that it is the fittest for you. Unerring wisdom ordained your lot, and selected for you the safest and best condition. A ship of large tonnage is to be brought up the river; now, in one part of the stream there is sand-bank; should some one ask, “Why does the captain steer through the deep part of the channel, and deviate so much from a straight line?” his answer would be, “Because I should not get my vessel into harbor at all if I did not keep to the deep channel.” So, it may be, you would run aground and suffer shipwreck, if your divine Captain did not steer you into the depths of affliction, where waves of trouble follow each other in quick succession. Some plants die if they have too much sunshine. It may be that you are planted where you get but little; you are put there by the loving Husbandman, because only in that situation will you bring forth fruit unto perfection.

Remember this: had any other condition been better for you than the one in which you are, divine love would have put you there.

You are placed by God in the most suitable circumstances, and if you had the choosing of your lot, you would soon cry, “Lord, choose my inheritance for me, for by my self-will I am pierced through with many sorrows.” Be content with such things as you have, since the Lord has ordered all things for your good. Take up your own daily cross; it is the burden best suited for your shoulder, and will prove most effective to make you perfect in every good word and work to the glory of God. Down, busy self and proud impatience; it is not for you to choose, but for the Lord of Love!
~ Charles Spurgeon (emphasis mine)

He shall choose our inheritance for us.” — Psalm 47:4

Author: Beth
•Friday, December 04, 2009

Oh and when the love spills over,
And music fills the night,
And when you can't contain your joy inside, then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!*

I love those moments. Those "dance for Jesus" moments. Even if your feet never leave the floor, those are the times when the joy swells up inside and flows to every part of your being... and your heart does a soaring waltz of happiness. Smiles. Laughter. Maybe even some tears.
  • Like taking road trips with friends and having those heart-to-heart discussions in the darkness of the car
  • Or seeing your entire family hold hands to pray together over Thanksgiving
  • Or witnessing a breathtaking sunset that God painted in your favorite colors after a hard day of work
  • Or holding a newborn baby
  • Or watching newlywed friends decorate their first Christmas tree together
  • Or singing psalms until the tears run down your face
  • Or staying up late just to be together and laugh (even when you can't remember why the next day)
And the list goes on... and on...

I've been thinking a lot about happiness lately. It's those brief moments when heaven and earth collide and, just for awhile, things feel right with the world. Life seems to shine a little brighter, we breathe a little deeper, and we linger a little longer.

Maybe we even dance a little. :)

It's a strange phenomenon to be happy in this world. Long-term happiness is often viewed as something reserved for the delusional and unrealistic dreamers. After all, we know these moments can't last forever. Sooner or later, the circumstances change, and the emotional roller-coaster dips again.

But I've been thinking about how to maintain happiness - a true kind of joy - even when the circumstances change. When the music stops. The glorious bliss of that dancing moment fades. I'm not talking about surfing from one emotional high to the next. I'm talking about digging down deeper. Much deeper. All the way down to the source.

"How happy a person is depends on the depth of his gratitude." - John Miller

That's it. Gratitude.

The Bible so often interchanges the words 'blessed' and 'happy.' Being blessed with something means that there is a Giver. Any happiness that comes from that blessing is ultimately praise to the One who gave it.

We, as beloved children of our Heavenly Father, are happy people when we are grateful people.

We have been chosen. Forgiven. Redeemed. Delivered. Reconciled. Established. Completed. It's because "Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God..." (1 Peter 3:18)

The world becomes just a little sweeter. The sunset seems a little more brilliant. The deep conversations with friends become more meaningful. Family becomes more dear. The Word of God becomes more alive. Every single thing is able to be enjoyed more fully because of Jesus Christ.

That's happiness.

Doesn't it just make you want to sing?! Standing in the shadow of the cross, knowing that you are loved by the King... it is enough to leave nothing but grateful awe and a joy that far surpasses any other notion.
"The one who knows and rests in the sovereign grace of God should be the happiest saint. Don't be a sour or glum or hostile false advertisement for the glory of God's grace. Praise it. Rejoice in it. And don't let that be a show. Do it in your closet until it is spilling over in the pulpit and in the commons." - J. Piper
I don't know about you, but I certainly need reminded of that from time to time. There's my post-Thanksgiving thought for you all. :) Have a happy, glorious day!

~ Beth

"Behold how blessed such people are! O happy people who can say they have the Lord to be their God!" - Psalm 144:15

*song lyrics from one of my favorites: 'Come to Jesus' by Chris Rice, which is also the background music from the mission to India video [ here. ]