The Best Kind of Joy

There is no such thing as the right place, the right job, the right calling or ministry. I can be happy or unhappy in all situations. I am sure of it, because I have been. I have felt distraught and joyful in situations of abundance as well as poverty, in situations of popularity and anonymity, in situations of success and failure. The difference was never based on the situation itself, but always on my state of mind and heart. When I knew I was walking with God, I always felt happy and at peace. When I was entangled in my own complaints and emotional needs, I always felt restless and divided.

Henri J. M. Nouwen in Seeking Peace

I really appreciate this quote from Henri Nouwen. Our culture seduces us to an unending and unfulfillable quest to make every circumstance just the way we want it, and to great frustration when we cannot do it. Life is unpredictable and circumstances can bring incredible challenges out of no where and then we feel so unloved by God. You will never get your circumstances exactly how you want them, but you can set your eyes on him no matter what you’re going through. Most of my infected with laughter moments have come in the midst of great challenge or risk. 

Being at rest in God’s love and in our place on the journey has nothing to do with our circumstances, only our engagement with him. Don’t seek the outcome you desire, but God’s unfolding grace regardless of circumstance and you won’t be disappointed.  

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