“Many keep saying, ‘Who will put happiness before out eyes?’ Let the light of your face shine on us.” – Psalm 4:6
Right now, caught up in the pandemic and quarantine, it is more obvious than usual how much people care about happiness. Some people are concerned for their health and their finances, but a lot of the suffering people are experiencing is from their fun and their preferred way of life being taken away. “Many keep saying, ‘Who will put happiness before our eyes?'” And at the same time, people are more aware that they need God than they usually are. People are praying more fiercely than usual, and people who usually don’t pray are praying. But I’m not sure they’ve made the connection that God is not only the answer to their pleas for deliverance, but also to their pleas for happiness.
I fall for this too. I don’t think I do because I try to make Him the center of my life and I think I succeed better than I actually do. But I do act like the world is where I’ll find happiness. If people around me are feeling down, I feed off the mood. If something doesn’t go my way, I pout. If I don’t like how I look or how someone treats me, I’m preoccupied with it. All because external circumstances don’t live up to my ideals. I turn to God for deliverance from inconveniences and irritations, not so much for the strength to endure them and grow because of them, and certainly not for happiness in the midst of it all.
And yet, I know He brings the greatest happiness. Yesterday I was floating and humming all morning because of the way He spoke to me about the adventure of life. When I encounter Him, I’m anywhere from giddy to deeply grateful in a way too serious for expression. He has brought me happiness more profound, more vast, more varied than I have ever found anywhere else. And yet when I’m not happy and I want to be, I turn to other things to either fill me or numb me.
“Let the light of your face shine on us.” Abba, help me to see You and Your joy, and also to see that it’s You who brings joy.