“Happy? Who has time for being happy? Do you know what my schedule looks like? If you did know, and we swapped schedules for a day, you wouldn’t last 5 minutes before giving it back to me.”
I’ve thought about saying this a time or two. Sometimes your life is incredibly busy. That’s just the way it is. The world has evolved to being a very busy, hectic, “got to do one more thing” kind of world. Everything is competing for the minutes you set aside to take a breath.
Now, I am not a man who can multi-task. I’m just not. Do you know of anybody that is gifted in multi-tasking? I have learned that most wives are gifted and that makes incredible sense. Taking care of the home, the kids, their spouses… this has made them experts at this. Good or bad, they’re gifted multi-taskers. My wife, Nancy, is a gifted woman of God but also a gifted multi-tasker. When I ask her what’s going on because I see her walking in every room of our house, she lets me know. *Note to Self: Don’t ask Nancy that question again*. As she’s describing everything she’s doing, I’m literally exhausted just listening to her. But that’s me! Because of Nancy’s gift, we are better off as a married couple. Thanks Honey!
Nancy digs down deep physically at times to complete what she’s set her mind to do. She is a firm believer in giving her all to the Lord in everything she does. She is truly happy when she is giving. And we both believe in serving God as He calls us. Even in our times of struggle and difficult circumstances, we believe in giving.
Most of last year, beginning in March of 2016, Nancy and I lived through a long season of health issues. I was in the hospital 5 times in 2016. Nancy had injured her knee to the point they were discussing replacement of her knee. She walked in pain every day. We always believed that sometimes we’re abased and sometimes we abound. We hung tight to God’s Word and had a great support network that included powerful prayer warriors. And God brought us through it! We understood that we didn’t have to live a stress free life to be happy. We were blessed despite the difficult times. As in, “beyond measure”. We experienced blessings both tangible and untangible. We were able to witness to a nurse at the hospital for countless days and nights. She called my room a “Haven of Rest”. When she was experiencing a difficult and tiresome day she would slip into my room and see if Nancy or I was awake. Then she would sit down beside us for a moment to receive peace. We prayed with her as often as we could. We prayed for her family and her kids. We prayed for her job and for favor from her bosses and co-workers. Her name is Heather and God opened doors of opportunity for us to share the gospel with her. We gave her a small gift at the end that she could use as a reference of “light” and “hope”. That when she looked at it, she would remember her experiences with us and with God.
What’s my point in all of this? All we need to do sometimes to get over what we are facing is to give to someone else. To be happy, truly happy, we must first be empty. We must empty ourselves of our own issues so we can see the greater picture. Jesus did this often in His ministry. He knew what was ahead for Him. He knew of His coming persecution and pain. He knew of His beatings and ultimately His death, yet the Bible tells us that when He looked upon the multitudes, He was moved with compassion.
The Apostle Paul also knew the meaning of happiness. He really did. In Philippians 2:12-18 it says, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the world of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.”
Did you catch it? He said, “But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.”
It was not about him, but rather about the Philippians he was writing to. And where was he writing from? Prison no less. Paul had found a Habit of Happiness. That habit was living empty so he could see the greater need God was placing before him.
Click on the podcast link below to hear a powerful message given by Pastor James Aspito called, “Running on Empty”. You will not regret it. There are 3 Happiness Hints that you’ll want to write down and begin to live out.
Friends, what is keeping you from true happiness? My wife and I find our true happiness in serving others. The Holy Spirit works through our obedience and as a result, pours out joy unspeakable. We have struggles. We have problems just like anyone else. We are not perfect at all. And because we are not perfect we need Jesus all the more! But we have chosen to be participants not spectators and because of that, we have no regrets. We will pour ourselves out for others until every ounce of energy is gone. And then we will praise God for the journey.
Blessings and favor and abundance to you in the Name of Jesus!