Life throws us many curves. Our plans seldom work and when they do, we are often forcefully reminded, “Beware what you wish for, you might get it.” Health declines, for many it was not great to begin with. I am going deaf, my wife is going blind. We live in a “manufactured home” and our insurance company of 20+ years just dropped us. Yet, recently a young person (most of them nowadays) described me as a happy person to someone she did not know was my son.
I must admit, that made my day. “Happy” derives from things that happen. I could make a long list of reasons I am not happy. My deafness, my wife’s impending blindness are just the first items on each of our lists. (She is so tired of repeating herself that she says if she had wishes she’d fix me first). Everyone has a list, some longer or containing more serious matters than others. Even healthy and relatively wealthy people are often not happy. The basis for our JOY lies in a line of the title song: “For Jesus is my light.” We are not the only ones with problems, in fact, I see JOY on the faces of those whose list makes mine seem like a wish list. Jesus lights up your life when you live as he would have in your shoes.
Jesus emptied himself to accomplish things for others (Phil 2:5-8). If self is the center of our ambitions, there will be no room for his light. Jesus served others. He gave up his time and place that he might save people who did not even like him. If we will focus on doing kindness to others, there will be sunshine in our souls that can be seen. The sunshine comes despite the things that happen, and because God knows what will fill us with joy and peace. He sent his Son to show us.
Life is full of trouble and heartache and pain. It often seems that good happens only so it will hurt when it is taken away, or to make the bitter worse by contrast….then you die.
But, then you will be raised--raised as certainly as God raised Jesus. Raised to a heavenly body in a sinless world where everything always goes right. The sunshine in my soul shines from the hope Jesus gave of being in that place.
And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the midst of the street thereof. And on this side of the river and on that was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds fruits, yielding its fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no curse any more: and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be therein: and his servants shall serve him; and they shall see his face; and his name shall be on their foreheads. And there shall be night no more; and they need no light of lamp, neither light of sun; for the Lord God shall give them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. Rev 22:1-5