Monday, November 25, 2013

Gladness of Heart

"He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart." Ecc 5:20
I don't know if you have noticed but, I have been having a few life challenges lately.  And they have sort of been kicking my butt.  And so I have told you that life is hard because lately my life has been HARD.

I find it is always worst right before it gets better and I am happy to report that I believe I hit my bottom this week.  And having spent hours over the past few weeks crying out to God and praying with friends and seeking wise counsel, I feel like I have sprung back out of the hole I have been in.  Not because anything has changed but because I changed.

I am reading through Ecclesiastes right now.  I know people say it is a depressing book of the bible, and in many ways it is, because you see the hopelessness of life apart from God.  Honestly, without God it is all meaningless, there is no hope, we work, we die, who cares.  But I know how it ends, I know there is a God who gives life meaning and purpose, we work, we die, we leave a legacy, we live in Glory for eternity.

Today I read, "He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart."

Life is still hard, we work, we die, who cares, but...we can either reflect on that fact, the burden of life, the hard, the challenges, or, we can let God occupy us with gladness of heart.  Remembering His Glory, seeing His Blessings, being Thankful for His Provisions.

We tend to not want to brush problems under the rug these days.  Once upon a time that is all we did.  Hide problems and put on a happy face.  Today it seems we have almost gone the opposite, brush the good under the rug because we don't want to deny the problems.  Being true to yourself means you can't say you are doing good when everyone knows your life has challenges.  But if we trust God and let him occupy us with gladness of heart, then challenges and joy can co-exist within us.

It is Thanksgiving week, what a perfect time to come out of my hole.  I have been reading all the thanksgiving posts on facebook.  And my friend Jody has been hosting "30 days of Thanksgiving" and while I have been happy everyone else was thankful this month, I haven't been really feeling it.  Not that I couldn't come up with things to be thankful for but I just didn't care.  However, I have sprung out of my hole just in time to celebrate this great holiday and today I share a few things I am thankful for:

  • Boxes unpacked and feeling settled in my beautiful new home.
  • New friends for Isabelle.
  • The closing of my first sale (in which I wasn't the buyer or seller.
  • The hot tub at our new place.
  • Family that stands by you through it all.
  • Friends who love and pray for you.
  • A husband who will get on a ladder in the cold misty rain to hang a for sale sign for you while you sit in the warm car.
  • The contrast of black on blue walls.
  • Teaching my daughter to sew her first barbie dress.
  • Fabric glue to handle the finishing touches.
  • A flexible schedule to enjoy Thanksgiving break with Izzy.

I pray God occupies your heart with gladness and thankfulness during this Thanksgiving week and throughout the year.

1 comment:

  1. What is it with all these challenges? Oh, Melanie - so glad you came out of your hole. I started sliding down one this week - and it's true - it's how we look at life through Him saves me from getting stuck! I'm climbing out - have to be intentional about it. However, I hope that when I die, someone cares. I think if we love, and we reach out to others - I'd like to think I passed on something valuable from me (albeit from God first). Wishing you a happy! Happy Thanksgiving in your new home:)