I shared several others’ reasons for why they were happy in an early post, “Why I Am Happy.” Actually, the whole reason for this website was to share how we can all know life to the fullest (John 10:10).
“A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” John 10:10 The Message
But in this blog post, I would like to be more specific by sharing what makes me happy and more importantly, what provides me with real joy even when I’m not happy.
Life has not always seemed fair to me. I’ve shared in other posts some of the circumstances of life that still doesn’t make sense. Most of those events individually are not good. Death of a friend or loved one is never good, even when it ends a life of suffering. Complete healing would be the preferred over death in those cases. The reality is that each of us are destined to die, physically. Death always comes too soon.
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” King James
“Everyone has to die once, then face the consequences” The Message
“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” New International Version
I know this sounds very morbid and bleak so far, especially for a post entitled, “Why I Am Happy 2.” I’m trying to lay some ground work here, so bear with me. In the previous post of mine mentioned above, I claimed to have every right to be mad, sad, angry. After the death of my first wife, I was angry. To be perfectly honest, I probably remained angry for about 15 or 16 more years. There are still times when that anger rises to the surface. Sometimes, it manifests as anger at someone (the driver that just cut me off) or at an object (the jar that won’t open or the computer that’s too slow). Sometimes the anger turns inward and for no apparent reason, I’m sad.
Did I say sad? You may still be wondering when we get to the “happy” part. I assure you, we will get there. For awhile, I was angry at God. I didn’t stay angry at him, though. My religious self wouldn’t allow it. Besides, I was teaching in a Christian school. I would like to boast that my faith wouldn’t let me and my self-righteous self wants to believe that. Truthfully, my self-righteousness did believe that my faith got me through that ordeal. Actually, my faith is what made me angry at God in the first place.
I believed in God. I believed Jesus is His Son and suffered in human form just as we suffer. I believed Jesus Christ’s death was a substitution for my death and if I just believed, I would have eternal life. If I believed, I would now be able to enjoy a relationship with God, the Father, God, the Son and God, the Holy Spirit. I still believe that and teach that today.
But I added religious “truth” to it. I believed also that if I do what a good Christian is supposed to do and stay away from the things a good Christian isn’t supposed to do, then God will love me and protect me and answer all my prayers. One of my prayers was for the protection of my family’s health which included my wife, the mother of my children who also loved God and did the things she should do and didn’t do the things she shouldn’t. But God didn’t answer that prayer as far as I was concerned. God was unfair.
And I refuse to give those bad circumstances a hurtful response like, “It must have been God’s will” or “all things work together for good.” Those kind of responses, whether true or not, appear to be blaming God for the bad thing. I will entertain the thought that there may be some good come from those bad things. It’s like Yoko Ono said she is happy that sometimes she is sad. It’s part of life.
What I do know because I’ve experienced it. God is too easily blamed when things go wrong. I blamed him. Why does God allow bad things to happen? My answer: He allows life to continue. We don’t want him to be in control until something bad happens. As long as there are people on the Earth living life as if they were the God of their own life, bad is going to happen. Not everything bad that happens, happens to them. Their actions affect others. Sometimes what we thought we wanted or needed, turns out to be bad for us. So, the good and the bad in life happen to all – the righteous and the unrighteous.
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24 New International Version
I believed in God, but I didn’t really know him. I worshiped God as Santa Clause. If I’m a good little boy, he brings me presents – the perfect, untouched by worldly troubled life. I thought God’s definition of the full life was in line with my and the world’s definition. My definition did not include the rain, only sunshine. My definition meant I would grow old with the mother of my kids and she’d be there to help raise them, etc. I believed in God, but I didn’t worship him. In some respects, I used Him for my pleasure.
But it does rain on the good. Those who deny the existence of God enjoy sunshine. The good know disease and death too soon. The wicked experience good health and longevity.
“ that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
Matthew 5:45 New International Version
That seems so unfair to those of us who are working so hard to be righteous. Maybe that’s the point. When it comes to righteousness, the just and the unjust are equal. I believed in God, but I was not grateful. I loved God, but not for what he did for me, but for what he could do for me. I thought he loved me, because I was a good catch. He loved me in spite of my imperfections.
Shortly, after my wife’s death, God spoke these words to my heart. But like a teen, mad at my Father for not giving what I wanted, I really didn’t heed it. Thankfully, He stayed faithful. Finally, I am happy to share this thought that brings me comfort even when this sinful man finds himself in unexpected and unexplained unhappy circumstances.
“We plan the way we want to live,but only God makes us able to live it.” Proverbs 16:9 The Message
Why does this bring me comfort? Because it doesn’t matter what degree of spirituality I am in or how important I have become. It doesn’t matter what others think of me or how unsuccessful I am. It doesn’t matter how terrible my plans were or how badly I’ve botched His plan for me. My life is in his hands and he can take it wherever God pleases. Wherever that is, I am content.
“I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” Philippians 4: 11-13 The Message
I am no better than you. You can know this kind of peace.I may not know what’s around the bend in the river. But I know who I am. I am His.
I write about what I'm thinking or what I've imagined in an effort to regain that childhood imagination and marry with my many years of real experiences. I'm getting better at it the more I write.I am a published author of two romantic intrigue novels.My books can be found at Amazon.com or if you want a personalized copy, by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.