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LONGING FOR JOY

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LONGING FOR JOY Empty LONGING FOR JOY

Post  Admin on Tue 02 Dec 2008, 9:09 pm

LONGING FOR JOY
James P. Gills, M.D.

Each of us has struggled to find joy, thinking the "right" thing in our
work, our play or our relationships will fulfill us. We create such
hectic days full of activities and accomplishments that we think a filled
life is a fulfilled life. We seek recreation on a basketball court, a
gym or a bicycle that engages us for the moment but is not lasting. Or
we search for that "special someone," only to discover that our problem
is not in finding the right person, but in being the wrong person
ourselves.

C. S. Lewis says that each of us has this kind of deep longing that we
search to fill. He calls it "sehnsucht," or "longing for joy." Because
we are human, we try to fill it with earthly things.

We say, "If I can just get my education finished and get started in my
career, then things will go well and I will be happy." But we are not
happy. So we say, "If I can just get established in my business and be
successful, then things will go well and I will be happy." But it
doesn't happen. Then we think, "Well, if I can just find the right spouse and
have good children, then things will go well and I will be happy." But
that still doesn't satisfy us. So then we say, "If I can just get the
kids through school, then I can settle down and rest." But we are
missing the point.

There are no magic plateaus on which our lives level off and we can
claim we have achieved happiness. Personal achievements, success at work
or on the athletic field, and relationships cannot give us lasting joy.
We can have all those things and still feel an empty longing.

At some point in our lives we have to realize that what we seek isn't
within ourselves; we lack the inner resources to fill this void. We
finally see how weak we are, how limited are our powers. We can be eaten up
with despair, frustration, anger, anxiety and loneliness.

Then God speaks to us. For the first time, we truly begin to see the
power and majesty of Almighty God. We see ourselves as poor, needy
sinners who require the grace of the Lord Jesus and His cross. We turn to God
because we realize we have nowhere else to go.

When we do, our souls are flooded with joy. We begin to see the
infinite majesty of God.

Joy is a heart that is changed by knowing God. It takes our breath
away. It is an infinite host of angels singing glory to God. It is the
greatest music or words we can ever imagine, and still more. This great joy
puts everything else out of our heads and our hearts. In turning from
earthly things we find God. And by putting our faith in Him, we are
filled with abundant joy.
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