The Place of deep JOY

17/10/2019 15:14
Two years ago, when in quest of our next home, my beloved went for numerous open inspections. His wife  however partook of the search mainly from the comfort of her computer chair—call me lazy if you like! One momentous day, as I clicked links on my computer, gazing yet again at more houses for sale, I saw one which I didn’t think was suitable. But then … I felt God’s nudge to look again, so I did! My eyes opened wide and my heart thumped loud. Shan and I went to check it out—and just one inspection was enough. We knew we need look no further.
Finding our Dream Home was heart-warming, but buying it was another matter! Problems abounded, assaulting us every day, like bombs being dropped over unsuspecting victims during war-time. Over the course of the next 75 days, I battled in prayer daily, using the Word of God as my ammunition. This gorgeous house was walking distance from my church, so every Sunday, I’d drive there, park opposite our Dream Home, and sit in an adjacent reserve, praying and seeking God’s heart for us.
A small oval encircled by trees whispered peace and God’s presence. Glowing green hills peeked at me from behind tall houses. I loved spending time there, as the autumn sun shone bright and tall gum trees hummed. It was like a second garden to our desired home, because it was only a stone’s throw away. I was certain I’d spend every morning in this God-breathed sanctuary with an open Bible and a hungry heart. But strangely enough, that did not occur.
Instead, I’ve spent many idyllic hours in our own little backyard, revelling in God’s company and in His creation. You see, when I frequented that little park, I had zero access to our new home, so this reserve was as close to it as I could get. But after we moved into our Dream Home—I had everything I needed right where I was, so there was no reason to look further.

We human beings seek comfort, joy, peace and meaning for our lives. Unfortunately, we often look in the wrong places—in riches or in relationships, in acquisitions or in accolades, in fame or in fortune, in good works or in golden moments. Some of them might deliver what we are seeking but they are often a far cry from what we really long for! The Word of God tells me that Christ within me—is my hope of glory. He alone is all I need.
Here in this beautiful home God gave us, I find countless spaces that give me joy—my little den where I write and pray in and study His Word; our dining area which overlooks a backyard that’s ablaze with pink and purple blooms; the spacious kitchen where God’s peace envelops me as I drink in the sight of verdant hills; our little garden where breezes sing to me all day and a million stars wink at me each night, the cosy patio where we enjoy the company of family and friends over a home-cooked meal, during long lazy summer days.
In the same way, following God’s ways brings me a deep and lasting joy. Spending time with my Father, soaking in the truth of His Word, fellowshipping with other believers, worshipping our awesome God, allowing His Spirit to lead me, caring for others, receiving forgiveness, forgiving others, enjoying the blessings life brings, being thankful no matter what, praising Him often, deepening  relationships with loved ones, overcoming adversity, trusting God, being obedient to Him—all of these are like the places in my home that I relish. These are indeed the spaces of my heart where God meets with me and nourishes me and makes me whole.
God is closer than I realise. Like the morning sun which sheds light and new life every day, true joy is found in Him, the Son of God whose radiance illumines the darkest night. The things of the earth rarely satisfy for too long. People are human and one day they will all pass away like riches and fame which too are here today and gone tomorrow.
I linger in the reserve nearby revelling in its loveliness. But my joy, my deepest joy comes not from any place outside, but from within my home where I am deeply content. In the same vein, when I search for a joy that’s found outside of God, it falls far short of all I yearn for. I know then what I have to do—simply turn to JESUS, to re-discover that He, He alone, is my One Secure Place of deep and lasting JOY!

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.

I have told you this that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.

John 15:10-11