Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Standing On The Promises"1 (Lyrics)
Ecclesiastes 8:15a – So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. (NLT)
My great-grandmother rarely ventured beyond the confines of her bedroom, but she was happy.
For as long as I can remember, my great-grandmother, Mammy, lived with my paternal grandparents. Her bedroom was just off the living room of the old home, and in those two rooms, she spent most of her days. But she never appeared sad. Crocheting afghans was one of her passions. For weeks and months, she sat in a straight-back white chair, a basket of yarn beside her, an intense smile on her face, and worked her needles. Often, she watched Perry Mason on the television while she did. If not him, a game show.
When Mammy wasn't there in the living room, she was in her bedroom, sitting on the bed and reading her Bible. I often sat in an old chair at the end of her bed and conversed with her.
Mammy was always happy. From today's vantage point, she appeared to live a somewhat boring lifestyle, but obviously, she didn't think so. She enjoyed the simple things. Wise King Solomon proposed the same: eat, drink, and enjoy life.
Happiness is a state of mind and is not governed by circumstances or things — as Solomon discovered. Things may create happiness for a short time, but eventually, like a child, we tire of them and want something new. If I wait until circumstances are continually pleasant to get happy, I'll experience happiness only infrequently.
A permanent state of happiness, like Mammy possessed, is created through a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ. Knowing that our sins are forgiven lets us live life with a smile on our faces. And we should. We have something to be happy about. This continual state of heart-happiness validates our witness to others. If we claim to know Christ, yet appear sad all the time, a contradiction occurs. Understanding that God loves us unconditionally — and that we can never do anything to make Him stop — is important for maintaining a smile on our faces.
Happiness can also be caught. I caught Mammy's, and I hope that my demeanour — along with the words that I write — will help others to catch the "Be Happy" attitude, too.
Are you continuously happy, or are you allowing circumstances to govern your smiles?
Prayer: Father, remind us that we can live in a state of joy because of what You've done in our lives. Amen.