The Difference is…
It’s a process, really.
Have you ever looked back and thought to yourself, “Look how far I have come!”
Then there are the days, when the storm clouds are on the horizon and you feel so ill-equipped. You have momentary amnesia about the storms you have already weathered that did not kill you.
Life is like that, isn’t it. It can be a landscape of peaks and valleys. This is true for all of us.
I am not so sure I agree with the saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Because sometimes you don’t get stronger, sometimes you die inside.
I have met people who seem so bitter, so cynical, and I wonder what happened to make them that way. Who hurt them? These people, for whatever reason, have given up. Sure, they are still alive (if you wanna call it life), but they are constantly waiting for the other foot to drop, doubting everything and everyone, and never fully giving themselves.
Then there are people who seem to be happy and enjoying life. They are friendly and joyful. They seem to actually care about others. We enjoy being around people like this, they energize us and encourage us. Maybe they know something the others don’t?
Both have had storms in their life. Remember, everyone has their peaks and valleys. The difference is their outlook. With the proper perspective, even a valley can look like a peak. When we appreciate the peaks, we do not fear the valley.
We can learn and grow during both phases of our life. We can be stronger if we do not become bitter and fearful. But, it does require action; an active faith, to see beyond the now. To embrace the future, we must let go of the past. To fully love, we must forgive. And we must be wise, discern when it is time to let go and move on or when to plant our heels.
“But I say to you, love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may [show yourselves to] be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on those who are evil and on those who are good, and makes the rain fall on the righteous [those who are morally upright] and the unrighteous [the unrepentant, those who oppose Him]. Matthew 5:44-45
Let go of the temporal and cling to the eternal. He never promised it would be easy, but He did promise He will be with you every step of the way.
There is a difference between happiness and joy.
Happiness is based on circumstance, we are happy as long as everything is going well. Happiness depends on others.
But, joy! Now joy is something else. Joy is the deep inner peace of knowing that laughs in the face of adversity and says, “HA! My Father has got this under control!” Joy is relationship. Joy is a person and His Name is Jesus.
Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.] John 14:27
Now that is a promise!
Be Free & Stay Free