There is a River

Weekly Sabbath Survey

There is a River — 7-19-2014

Have you ever heard someone say, “I think I was born to be unhappy.” Or, “I have a melancholy personality, like Eeyore. I just can’t be happy, happy Tigger.” Was the person saying this YOU? Have you ever wondered how some Believers seem to have a lot more blessings that some others? Or, some have a lot more burdens than the blessed ones? There are no secrets in God, but sometimes we have to search for the answers. Only babies are spoon fed. The rest of us have to feed ourselves. Happiness eludes those who don’t search for how to obtain it.

I believe that I was born to be a happy person and a lover of people. But whether we like or not, we all have been “bent’ by our parents and other family as we grew up. I still remember what Daddy required and what Mama didn’t like. To this day, some of that is part of my own belief system. But there are other things I took away from them that had to be seriously adjusted by the Lord and myself once I began to read the Bible. Attitudes and beliefs change as we grow. Otherwise, we would all be Amish: no TV, no telephone, no electricity except in the barn, and women doomed forever to wear the ugliest “sturdy” shoes ever known to mankind!!

Believers are Born Again to be happy. To have fullness of joy. To live life more abundantly. So what happened? There are more unhappy faces in church than fleas on a dog’s back. There are plenty of reasons to wear a long face: sickness that isn’t going away; infirmity of age that makes simple tasks next to impossible; bad job situation; tense family atmosphere; and it goes on and on. The Lord allows particular trials in life that He knows we can handle. We live with whatever it is we got, we learn and change and eventually have a wealth of wisdom on it. Every bit of wisdom we have gained in our lives, is there to help someone else. Every person who ever spoke into our lives with wisdom has taught us, and in due time, we are teaching others. Pushing against the trials makes us stronger, like weight training makes athletes stronger. Here’s how I see life:

There are three categories we can live in, and at times we go back and forth between them. They are Cup Half Empty, Cup Half Full, and Cup Running Over. No matter what our particular burden is we have a CHOICE how we see our lives. We can’t choose what some of the things that come along, somet things we do to oursevles, but we can choose how we live with them and rise above them. Whether they eventually go away or stay forever, we can choose every day how we will view our life.

Half empty people are discontent and always wanting things to be better, different. I was this person for a while, and still fall into that pattern more than I care to admit. The half full people have made peace with what isn’t and are enjoying what is. Both groups have hope for the future but one looks ahead all the time and the other is living in the now, while waiting for the better future. A person stuck in half empty won’t be happy when something good comes along, because they are still focused on the part that isn’t fixed yet. (Believe me, please, you can learn this part easy or the HARD WAY. You choose.)

The cup running over people have found the secret. They have allowed themselves to think, what if it never changes? What if I live just like this the rest of my life? Drawing near to Jesus does much to help work through these thoughts. The immediate place to go with it is despair. But most “D” words come from the devil. (Divorce, destruction, dysfunction, disillusion, etc). So despair is not a good place. Beyond it is a peaceful acceptance that gives rise to an extreme amount of peace and happiness, in a running over sort of way. It doesn’t mean we never have a bad day. It means our lives are characterized by joy and peace that is abundant and always flowing. A river that never runs dry.

O Lord, You have provided everything I need even in the middle of my troubles; you have anointed me with Your Holy Spirit; my life is full, and blessed, and overflowing with your provision. (Psalm 23:5 paraphrased.)

Charlene Reams Manning

Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah

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