January 10 (Psalm 4:6-7)
There are many who say, “Who
will show us some good? Lift up the light of your
face upon us, O Lord!” You have put more joy in my heart
than they have when their grain and wine abound. (ESV)
It usually takes no more than the first new article of the day to have us crying out to God for something good. We could debate whether the world is truly getting worse or we are simply more aware of the problems thanks to modern communication, but either way, it is a rare moment when we do not feel crushed and overwhelmed by our circumstances.
Of course, most of us have a lot of options for feeling better. We have hobbies we enjoy, books to read, apps to play, friends to see, movies to watch, music to listen to, and sports to play. Distraction from the pain and distress of life is a click away, and if the Internet is down or a friend is not home, there is always something else we can try. And so life becomes an endless seeking after that something else, but the unending search itself becomes a burden. Perhaps it is then that we reach for something stronger, something darker.
The simple fact is that God has already placed more joy in our hearts than we can fully savor in this world. He lives within us and speaks to us, gently and sweetly, if only we would stop grasping for the clashing brass gongs of distraction and listen. Do you think you can set all that other…stuff…aside for a few moments and let God reveal the joy He has given you?
Father, my search to find things to ease the pain of life is actually a display of ingratitude. Rather than be content with what You have given and find joy in Your presence, I run after mere things and experiences. Forgive me for treating the gift of Your joy with such contempt and restore to me my sense of satisfaction in You. In the name of Jesus, amen.
Copyright © 2016 by Steven R. Perkins