Fall into the Arms of Joy

What if today, I choose to live grateful? To love with abandon? To forgive without counting the cost? To give without reserve? To live fully present and undistracted in the moment? To be all there, wherever there happens to be? To breathe deep, choose wisely, seek beauty, and maintain perspective? To slow down and learn to see the blessing in each dark cloud?

What if I trust completely, believing without hesitation, that every circumstance, every situation, every hardship and blessing and trial and joy is allowed by the Hand of God?

Because it is.

What if today, I choose to live grateful, to obey simply because God is God – infinite and wise, the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end, the first and the last, creator of all, the great and holy I AM?

Yesterday I woke to a sick son and barking puppies, my husband half a world away in Shanghai, and knew I had a choice – grumble about the illness and puppies rising well before dawn, or be grateful that I have a son, blessed that today he isn’t waking up at Children’s Hospital, grateful for a warm house in a safe neighborhood surrounded by caring neighbors, grateful for clean water and good meds, good doctors and plenty of food, grateful for the privilege of puppies who infuse my day with joy, their playful antics the generous blessing of laughter.

Yesterday as I stood at the edge of choice, I got it right. In that tiny breath of life, I chose God over me, chose to live grateful and notice His blessings in the moment, chose to seek the beauty in the cloud, chose to obey.

Today I chose me. Today I woke weary, longing to simply sink back into sleep, no demands, no to-do list, no illnesses, no barking puppies, no laundry or food or lessons, nothing but sleep. Yet the insistent yips from our pups reminded me that day was tick, tick, ticking on whether I decided to join in or not. So I rose, grumpy and ill-tempered and impatient, and it stained our hours ugly, rendering our home a verbal war zone by noon.

“Oh, Lord,” I cried, “why is it sometimes so hard to choose right? To choose You and live grateful, thankful to simply be in Your Presence – Truth steeped in grace, saturated in mercy, washed in the blood of forgiveness, lavished in love, oozing peace, anchored fast in every storm. For there in the very moment of decision we choose to fall into the arms of JOY or land with a thud right back in our own sin.

So what if today, this moment, this breath we chose to obey and live grateful, falling free into the out-stretched arms of JOY, the waiting and welcoming arms of almighty God?

*Written for the beautiful women of We Used to Be You Ministries — sharing life experience, providing wise biblical counsel, and sharing the love of Christ with girls and young women.

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11 Comments

Filed under Devotionals

11 responses to “Fall into the Arms of Joy

  1. Beau-ti-ful! And I know the *girls* thought it touching! Bless you for your words that sear.

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  2. Yes… we’re choosing joy today too. And I know full well those choices are hard some days…. had a few recently myself!

    I LOVE how you put it… choosing to fall into the arms of JOY! Here…..I…. freely…..fall……

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  3. You said it all–and perfectly–in two words, Cindee.

    “What if,” indeed. . . ?

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  4. It is hard to put our needs aside and be there for others when we are hurting and need nurturing a well. Some days it is so hard to stop the tears and think only of the joy that does abide along with the sorrow. Good things to strive for. One moment, one hour, one day at a time. Great post, Cindee.

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    • I agree, Cecilia — one moment at a time. Sometimes I get it right and sometimes wrong, but there’s always another moment, another chance to get it right. That’s one of the absolute best things about following Christ. 🙂

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  5. Thanks so much. I find myself struggling every day in this battle … too many people needing my time, wanting me for one thing or another … I tend to get cranky and snarky because I just want to tend to my own things and there is no time left. By the time I get back to me, I am too tired to do much of anything but whine and complain. I have to remind myself that, just maybe, those other people’s needs are what God wants me to attend to. It is a choice we all must make. Some times are easier than others

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  6. Pingback: Sometimes we just need to be reminded! | God Is Near

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