October 6th: Possible{31 days of writing}

31 DAYSIs it possible to always have joy?

It seems a little too pie-in-the-sky for me.

Yes, I know what Philippians says. But I wonder if perhaps the word “JOY” has not become skewed, stretched, pivoted, Americanized, over the centuries.

There is this free style drawing technique where you close your eyes and listen to some classical music and then just draw based on the mood image the music created. {My six year old told me about it, thanks Doctor}.

When I close my eyes and think of the word “joy” immediately this hazy image comes:

a bright red balloon, sailing up, moments after it has been released by a woman with a smiling face

Everything inside of that balloon is designed to flee the pull of the Earth. The only thing keeping it anchored is a flimsy string, now taunt, by the five fingered vise grip at the end. If I let go it? Well, God knows where it will end up right?

God knows.

Isn’t it interesting that our mindless little phrases, spoken by the secular as well, such as; “Oh, god knows where that girl comes up with those hair-brained ideas!” is actually rooted in Biblical truth.

God knows.

So it seems that my red balloon image has much to do with contentment.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
    you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.~Psalms 16:5&6

But here is the thing I struggle with:

I know God knows. We, the generation reared in church, can swallow that without too much of a sour face. I know He gets the final say, but is that final say really good? This hard season of my life right now, this season of emptying, like the Autumn leaves outside are draining of verdant chlorophyll, has forced me to examine one thing of my faith:

Do I believe He is good?

Therefore, by proxy, His motives good. Therefore, where I am right now, “my portions” and “my boundaries” are good, beautiful even.

I have not always believed it. Wanted to. But when I make these declarations in my heart in the hard times, a dozen impatient hands, waving wildly, with questions frothing at the mouth, shoot up in my mind. Silencing those hands in the air with questions, because doubting is “bad” seems to be the stuff made of cults, not the gospel of Grace.

Know that God is big enough for your questions.

The real question is this:

Can I let go, let it slip out untethered, while I stay heavy footed as cattle, below. Can I smile with an empty hand?

Because He is at my right hand I shall not be shaken…You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.~Psalms 16:8&11

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe empty right hand is not really empty. That makes joy possible.

*Credit given where credit is due*

The teaching on contentment based on Psalms 16 came to me via a good friend on the phone, when I was not in a good place, via Shauna Niequist’s new devotional Savor.




31days of writing for the month of October with the Five Minute Friday gang.

Click here to start my series from the beginning.


One thought on “October 6th: Possible{31 days of writing}

  1. I understand this. I had a tough weekend at work. It’s really hard to pull the thankful out when I’m I a bad mood. And yet… I am thankful. Even when I can’t think of a specific thing. 🙂


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