When I was a little girl, the first snowfall of the season was a big deal.
If the snow had fallen overnight, my Mom would wake me up with, “Lori, I have a surprise for you!”
I’d then look outside to see everything covered with a blanket of pristine, white snow. I’d be excited about going outside to play in it with my friends. We’d create snow angels and snowmen, throw snowballs, go tobogganing, and perhaps even make a snow fort.
A new snowfall was an occasion for joy.
But now that I’m an adult, how do I react to a fresh snowfall?
With groans and grumbles.
I think of having to shovel it off the driveway and the sidewalk. I think of how it will make the roads slippery and the commute slower. I think of all the extra work and trouble it will cause me.
Nowadays, a new snowfall is an occasion for chores and complaints.
I guess I’ve lost the joy that new snow used to bring me.
The same thing can happen in our spiritual lives, too.
We sometimes lose the joy that our salvation initially brought us. Gradually, our focus shifts from Jesus and what He has done for us to what we feel we should be doing for Him.
The Christian life can then seem like a bunch of chores we have to check off our list: reading Scripture daily, praying, serving, giving, obeying the rules, attending church and a Bible study, etc.
All of those things are good, of course, and we should be doing them.
But we should take care not to lose our joy in the process.
We can sometimes get the feeling that God is some sort of stern taskmaster up in Heaven, clipboard in hand, disapproving look on His face, keeping a tally of how well we’re performing all of our Christian duties.
But God isn’t keeping score. He’s a loving Father who wants us to delight in Him.
“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)
The Christian life isn’t meant to be one of drudgery and duty. Our joy and delight in God should shine forth, attracting others to the treasures that can be found in a relationship with Christ.
“I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (John 15:11)
The Word of God is life-giving, not burdensome. Obeying what we read in Scripture gives us guardrails, yes, but they protect us and ensure that our life can be lived freely and joyfully.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)
With a tweaking of my attitude, I can once again find joy in snowfalls.
I can go for a walk in the woods and enjoy the beauty of snow on pine trees. I can be grateful that the snowpack will be watering farmer’s fields come spring. I can view shovelling snow as beneficial, as it’s keeping my muscles strong and giving me exercise in the fresh air. And I might even make a snowman or two again!
Have you lost the joy you once had in God? A tweaking of your attitude might be in order. Use this Bible verse as a prayer:
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” (Psalm 51:12)
Focus on the immense love the Father has showed you by sending His Son to die for your sins. God loves you deeply and wants you to spend eternity with Him. He wants your life on earth to be one filled with joy. None of the “chores” matter as much as simply loving Him!
When you view it this way, you’ll soon get your joy back!
© 2021 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.