– by Mary May Larmoyeux – It’s easy to be discouraged by what’s going wrong in our homes … and world … instead of being encouraged by what’s going right. So many today ask, “How can I find joy and fulfillment in the sometimes overwhelming stresses of life?”
You might be a young mom, in the midst of changing diapers and toddler talk, feeling like a month of demands is packed into one 24-hour day. Or perhaps you are trying your best to be a godly wife, mother, and neighbor while balancing a full-time job … sensing you can never do enough.
Maybe the sounds of toddler talk, slang of teens and dreams of daughters planning weddings is long gone. Now your house is empty. And the grandkids live too far, far away.
In circumstances like these, you might find yourself asking, “Where can I find joy and fulfillment?” And actually, that’s not just a 21st century question. Thousands of years ago King Solomon looked at the world he was living in and wondered the same thing.
He was the wisest man who ever lived, and yet he came to the conclusion that striving after possessions or power or even earthly relationships would never truly satisfy. That this was meaningless. He described living for earthly pleasures as “vanity of vanity” as “striving after the wind.”
So no matter how important something is on yours or my to-do list, if we are going through the motions to please ourselves, our families, or friends … we will feel empty.
Where can we find lasting joy and fulfillment in our daily lives? Nehemiah 8:10 gives us the answer: “The joy of the LORD is your strength.” And Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life, in your presence there is fullness of joy.” Yes, as followers of Jesus Christ, God offers us joy and fulfillment, even in the midst of stressful circumstances.
So when you hear difficult news or face problems at home or work, stop and remember that you are not alone. That you have a choice to make.
Will you rely on the Lord for strength? Will you choose joy?
Copyright © 2017 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Check out The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild’s Heart. It’s filled with creative ways that grandparents near and far can connect with their grandchildren every month. Written by a USA Teacher of the Year, Nancy Downing, and Mary Larmoyeux, a writer for FamilyLife, paper and electronic versions are available. (Great for parents, aunts and uncles, too!)