There are lots of lists out there describing what people consider to be the most important things to do in life. And these lists have lovely sentiments. Find love. Appreciate your family. Do something you are passionate about. I don’t disagree with any of that advice. Those are important things. But all those lists avoid […]
Who is the source of your happiness? Your joy? Your peace? It is easy to make other people the source of our contentment. In fact, when it comes to our most intimate relationships, it is hard not to do so. When we get married, we make our spouse our “better half.” We become so close to that person that what they do and say affects us personally. For some of us, our relationship with our children is even closer. We love our children so much that we’d put ourselves in harm’s way to protect them. So it isn’t surprising that we expect those relationships to meet all our needs.
But the problem with placing such high expectations on other human beings is that it is a recipe for disaster. Human beings are fallible. They make mistakes. They occasionally are selfish. They can be rude or moody. No human being is perfect.
The happiest people realize that there is only one source for all things: God.
When we make God our source for all things – happiness, finances, health, etc. – life becomes much easier. We aren’t pressuring others to fulfill those needs. Instead we are turning to God and are saying, “Help me.” And the beauty of it is that God will answer that prayer. He may not answer it in the way that we expect, or in the timeframe of our choosing, but He will answer. And He will take care of us.
For instance, let’s say your spouse is in a bad mood. He or she is being crabby and difficult. It is hard to not let that behavior affect you. It is hard not to feel tense. But when God is the source of your peace, He is also your source of relief. So you can take a break from the situation – go for a walk, get a cup of tea, etc. – and spend time with Him. And if you ask, God will ease your tension. He will give you peace of mind and the ability to be calm regardless of what another person is doing.
Maybe your child is having a bad day. He or she is being defiant and hard to manage. God can be the source of your rest. Send your child to their room with a toy or book, and then take a break with God. You might sit down and read something spiritually uplifting. Or you may lie down, rest your eyes and meditate. You can visualize God being with you. One thing I do in times of stress is to pretend that I am lying down in the palm of God’s hand. I find that to be incredibly comforting. Perhaps there is an image that you can think of that calms you. Once you’ve had your time with God, then you can return your child refreshed. You can give your child a hug, and do something positive with him or her.
Perhaps you are struggling financially. You can’t depend on other people for your sustenance. The reality is that you spouse could leave or die. Your family members may not always have the resources to help you. And government assistance is never a long-term answer. The only reliable source is God. If you turn to Him, and offer Him your abilities and commitment to work hard, He will present you with opportunities for employment and resources. Take to heart Matthew 7: 7-11:
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”
Human beings are wonderful. We were created to love them and to have relationships with them. They are part of what makes a beautiful life. However, when we think about our spiritual, physical and emotional needs, there is only once true source – God. He is the one we should go to first. This week put God first in your life. If you do, everything else will fall into place.
“Trust in the Lord, and do good;
so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Psalm 37: 3-4