I have a set of signs that sit in the corner of my desk at the church where I work. “Smile” and “Choose Joy”, they say. They are good reminders to me. I bought them a year ago, not knowing what the year would hold.
It is easy, so very easy, to focus on what I do not have. Both in little things and in big. It is easy to think that a finished story or getting what I waited for or finally knowing will make me happy.
But no. For my “happy ending” is not ultimately found in any earthly thing. There will be more chapters written into my story, and God will grant some things that will open up a wait for other things, and there will always be things that I know and things that I do not know.
So today, I can focus on what I have been given. Today, I can be grateful for the happy ending that is promised to me. Today, I can smile and choose joy.
Here is a bit of what helps me smile and choose joy today. Perhaps it will help you too?
In Christ . . .
- I am held fast. He will not let me go. He will never leave nor forsake me. Nobody can steal me from the palm of His hand.
- I am loved with an everlasting, steadfast, faithful love. He chose me, bought me, made me His own. He proved His love for me, though it cost Him everything.
- I am fully known and fully loved. He knows everything about me, and it doesn’t change His love for me, even as He empowers me to live a life that glorifies Him.
- I am always heard by Him. He always answers, even if it isn’t the answer I’d hoped for. He will never ignore me, never turn away from me, never not care about me.
- I am forgiven of all my sin. Though I am ill-deserving of His grace, and though I sin over and over again, He always gently takes me back, washes me and strengthens me for the next time.
- I am His. There is no question of “does He want me?”, no lack of clarity as to where I stand with Him. He made a covenant with me, and He will not break it.
- I am not asked to do anything I cannot do through Christ. His grace is made perfect in my weakness. His strength works powerfully in me and I do not lack for resources, ever.
- I am a child of God. Part of the body of Christ and His chosen Bride. Indwelled with the Holy Spirit: my Comforter, Guide, Intercessor, Teacher, and the guarantee of my inheritance.
- I am given access to the throne of grace. I have a High Priest who has been tempted as I have been, yet without sin, and who offers me mercy and grace to help in time of need, always.
- I am part of the people of God, a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, to proclaim the excellences of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.
- I am promised an inheritance that will not fade away. He has gone to prepare a place for me, and He will take me to be where He is. He wins. The end of the story is a glorious one.
The beautiful thing about marriage is that it gets to point to this far more beautiful reality of Christ and the church, of what He has done and will do and where He is going with all of this. But I can know the bigger reality today without the earthly picture.
One day, a man may mirror this kind of love to me, but it will always be imperfectly. Perfection is a burden no man can carry. A husband will be a gift and I will be grateful for him every day, but he cannot be my happy ending. Only in Christ will I be perfectly loved and the ending be fully glorious.
And I have Christ. I am perfectly loved and the ending is fully glorious. That’s not a trite “it’s okay, you have Jesus so you don’t need a husband”. It is an overwhelmingly beautiful reality that far supersedes any earthly need or earthly picture.
I don’t know the earthly details of what you have or don’t have today, but I do know that if you are in Christ, that overwhelmingly beautiful reality is also yours. Rest in that. Meditate on that. Go read Ephesians, slowly, and let your mind be renewed with truth.
Today, in Christ, you are perfectly loved and you are promised a happy ending.
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you the Sprit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saint, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great high, that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places. (Eph. 1:17-20)
May the Father, from which every family in heaven and on earth is named, according to the riches of His glory, grant you to be strengthened with power though His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your heart through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpassed knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Eph. 3:14-19)
To Him be all the glory.