“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.”
– Philippians 4:4-5 (NLT)
It seems like every time I read this verse I am struggling with something in my life. I’m always challenged as God reminds me to be full of joy, even in the middle of tough circumstances. The question I always have is, “how, God? How do I consistently have joy in the Lord?” Well, I’ve come to understand that we’ve got to change our perspective sometimes. I recently read a story that deals with this idea of perspective…
One day, the father of a very wealthy family sent his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.
On the return from their trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?” “It was great, Dad.” “Did you see how poor people live?” the father asked. “Oh yeah,” said the son. “So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father. The son answered, “I saw that we have one dog, and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden, and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden, and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard, and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on, and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.” The boy’s father was speechless. Then his son added, “Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are.”
Wow. Talk about perspective. I wonder what would happen in our lives if we would just see things differently. I wonder what would happen if we would regularly change our perspective. I wonder if our current problems, challenges and struggles would be seen in a different light. I wonder if this could lead us to treat one another differently and help us remember that the Lord is coming soon. I wonder…
We have so much to be thankful for and rejoice about. Today, let’s take the challenge that God gives us and “be full of joy in the Lord” …regardless of our current circumstances. Let’s allow others to see things with a different perspective as they watch us live our lives.
Have a happy Friday, my friends!!