Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt!

Give Me Chocolate

One recent morning my daughter-in-love called and innocently asked, “How are you doing?” Though it was early morning, I confessed I was eating chocolate. She completely understood! It was one of those “give me chocolate and nobody gets hurt” days!

What does your “one of those days” look like? You know what I’m talking about! The kind of day when one thing quickly piles atop another, over another, yet amass another. Maybe for you it isn’t a single day, but a string of unbroken difficult days that have marked an entire season.

crown-741478_640 - Pixabay - CCO Public Domain -cderosia - Crown Thorns Jesus Christian Christ

Then I noticed this image. It caused me to re-evaluate my heap-upon-heap day. All perspective changed in the light of THAT day over two thousand years ago!

On this day of His
family left Him for crazy
friends ran for their lives
one sold Him as a slave
another cursed the mention of His Name
religious leaders slandered Him
political powers washed their hands of Him
the populace shook their fists and turned their backs.

Yet He did not complain! Quite the contrary,

“For the joy set before Him He endured the cross.”
 Hebrews 12:2

Wait! Back this train up! “For the joy”…. How is that anywhere near possible?

Endurance

For the Joy…

With joy Jesus sweat drops of blood in the garden. Thus He made possible for our wills someday, in every way, to be surrendered to His.

In surrendered joy His beard pulled from a jaw, set firmly to the holy task, acquired grace for us to walk humbly with each other.

For you and me,  through joy whips separated flesh from flesh; healing from all sickness and disease is now ours.

With joy Christ was wounded for our transgressions (sinful acts) and bruised for our iniquities (faulty attitudes). Now we, through Christ, are forever set free from the guilt and shame of our acts and attitudes.

With joy thorns pressed deep a head deserving a crown for our proud and evil thoughts to be brought into captivity.

For the joy set before Him nails pierced hands that reached the least of these, so we too may touch the lives of unreached ones.

With incomprehensible joy blood dripped from the nail locking feet to wood, that those who followed could journey with fearless faith the straight road.

With joy the spear thrust deep emptying heart and lung. Sanctified and purified we may now live through His shed blood.

Childbirth

Joy Wrapped in Love

With joy? Yes, with joy wrapped in love! With joy He looked beyond his darkest day

when the Father turned His head
the sun refused to shine
the earth tremored in disbelief
and the veil of separation torn for all time.

He looked beyond “this day” to the horizon of endless time. Here perhaps is the key to both overcoming and rising above “one of those days”.

This day of ours is but a single word
against an eternal scroll…
a golden thread among the weave and warp
of all time and place.
This day neither defines nor determines
God’s good purpose
and beautiful design for our lives.

God's Plans

…”No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared for those who love him.”
I Corinthians 2:9 

With joy, great joy, Jesus gave his life so all who believed in Him would live!

__________

I Choose Joy!

Lord grant me the grace to see beyond “today”.
Give me courage and faith
to face each day with the joy set before me.
Forgive me Lord for grumbling about my little day –
I reach for joy!
For the joy set before me, I will move forward.
You, Lord, are with me always!

__________

Another article you might enjoy –

Great Trials Matched by Great Joy – James 1 Perspective