Thursday, August 7, 2014

Numbing Joy

Have you ever been at a crossroads? One path will take you down a road to one life, while the other path will lead to a completely different life. The 1st life, The Blessing - the blessed life that The Lord has in store for you to live. The good life. The 2nd life, a life that, in the beginning brings happiness, it feels good, it fills a void in your life, it even seems consuming. Your heart and mind are consumed by this life (often revolving around a person or position). You think about it/them all the time. When you rise and when you wake, it is the consuming thought that is with you at each breath. 
Proverbs 2:23 - Men who forsake the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness
Proverbs 4:26 - Consider well the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established and ordered aright.
I remember well that day. That defining day. The day that would change the very course of my life. The term crossroads almost seemed too light of a word to describe the position I found my life. I knew, though tangled up, obsessed, wrapped tightly, consumed - the one life would bring me fulfillment in the today. The fulfillment would be at least for a day or maybe just moment, though it could immediately turn on me for the worse if it felt like it, as soon as tomorrow! The other path, in the short-term, would be painful. It would be a painful today, tomorrow, next week and most likely next month. It would mean cutting ties. It would mean hurting my heart. It would mean opening up a place in my heart where I had allowed something to slide in and fit, puff up and fill a void. Path 2 meant I would take that piece out, leaving an empty, shallow, dark, painful hole. My heart would be open and my heart would be hurting. 

The defining day. The lottery option. If I chose the first road, it was a true gamble! The lottery option in effect meant, I could lose everything. My second road, I ultimately knew would bring pain now! I would be in pain for awhile, and only time down this path would heal my opened heart. BUT….. the end of the road meant I would be fulfilled, healed, whole and healthy. My heart would be in a healthy place. The void would be filled with God, and by choosing Him, He could lead me to HIS life that He had for me. The immediate life, the microwave choice, would be immediate happiness, long-term mediocrity, and potentially end in devastation & toil. 

The good life, the blessed life required patience. Painful, day in, day out, patience. The path God had for me, put me on a path that required putting in, beginning to fill that void with Him. Beginning to fill the place in my heart with God was not always easy, but I chose God first over self, short-term feelings, my flesh and my pleasure. It was a painful path that required my continual, daily pursuit of God, when sometimes the pursuit of alcohol or relationships would have brought a more numbing joy

On this journey, when I was ready, when I was complete, the ultimate gift would be waiting. The gift that would bring so much joy and happiness that I could not have imagined. After the pruning away, trimming back, the waiting, shaping, molding and defining, that ME…. the me of the 2nd path, could be finally trusted with the good life! I had proven myself faithful. I had allowed roots to not only take root, but go deep & thicken. In pruning out the hard things, my roots were strengthened. God could TRUST me! 

I'm so thankful I chose true joy over numbing joy. The numbing joy would have been fleeting. It would have gone. It would have continually had to be replaced. It would have included toil. It would have ultimately caused more pain. It would have pushed me into the hamster wheel of life, sin and entanglement that had me going too fast, it was hard to get off the wheel… not to mention, the wheel was extremely exhausting and certainly not the blessed life. 

Is there something in your life that you are choosing numbing joy instead of choosing to truly seek & follow God? What is it? Will you consider dealing with it today? Finally head down the road of peace, restoration & true joy! 

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