Thoughts and Meditations from verses and stories through one guy's head and heart... Psalm 124:7
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Have you ever stood in the way of your own prayers? I think I have… Last night it was as if I was the world’s most awesome goalie with a flawless record of saves who was relentlessly blocking every shot the Lord was taking to answer my own prayers… Okay, first, let’s take a look back at yesterday’s journal page to an excerpt of my prayers for the day: “Father, make our house a place of love and encouragement, of kindness and tender friendship. May the joy of Christ reign in all our hearts today…” I really wanted that for my family and for my own heart and then I got home and blew it…
It was dinnertime for the girls, there were six million dishes, Jack was hungry and I was tired. I decided to handle dishes first while passing some graham crackers to Jack for him to negotiate on his own terms. By the time I fed Jack properly, the girls were clamoring for their food and asking me every thirteen seconds what they were having for dinner. Finally I put Jack in bed and started the girls’ food, but this too was a mess because Jack wasn’t going to sleep! The brother screamed as if he were a Civil War soldier having a limb amputated and with every moment I descended deeper and deeper into a melancholy funk. I had encouraging music on in the house, but my determined frustration was like Teflon to the praise… it simply slid off without permeating my defenses and changing my heart in the least. I was short with the girls and on edge at every turn when I finally saw myself…
I turned off the music and asked Anna and Norah to come into the kitchen. We all sat down on the carpet and I apologized… I told them I was sorry for being so grumpy and asked them to forgive me. I told them I didn’t want to be this person and asked them if they would give me another chance. They said they would and we had the best night ever, full of happiness and laughter! I had asked God to make our house a place where the joy of Christ reigns, and then I forgot that the joy of Christ is the kind of joy that is happy when it doesn’t make sense. Psalm 4 says, “Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?” Let the light of your face shine upon us, Oh Lord. You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.”
It struck me that back in the day, there was no joy like harvest joy… I mean, when the grain and new wine abound, that’s guaranteed life and fullness! I bet people went crazy at harvest with more outrageous mirth than any other time of the year! You probably can’t be more joyful than those folks were at a good harvest, which means that the question is this: if you can’t have more joy than harvest joy, then what does he mean by greater joy than harvest joy? I think it means having that kind of joy when there’s no grain and no wine… when it’s a tough night with a screaming baby and tons of dishes. Harvest joy without the harvest is the greater joy. That is the unreasonable and awesome joy of Christ.