If you came over from Encouragement for Today, welcome! In today’s Encouragement for Today devo, I share how I am a lean-mean working machine, which can be a good thing. . . until it’s not.
What does your to-list look like?
Well, if you are like me you may ask, “Which one?”
There’s my calendar which lists all my deadlines and work to-do’s, and then there’s the list on the page sitting next to me with my daily tasks. Then, there’s the reminders to pick up this, pay that, or be at this place at a certain time.
Goodness, that can make us tired, right?
It can also sneak in and steal away our joy, if we allow it. You and I are wired for joy. The Bible confirms that over and over again. In fact, it might surprise you to know that joy is talked about in equal parts with what we “do.”
The author of 1 Chronicles says that joy is where God dwells.
In the Psalms, David shouted out that his heart “leaps with joy and with song as I praise him.”
In another Psalm, we are reminded that joy is found in God’s presence.
That’s why, when it feels like I’m slipping into the grind, I need to ask one question:
Have I left God out of this?
In every verse about joy, it includes our relationship with God in what we do.
It’s a little odd to think that we’d include God as we work. As we rock that child. As we pay our bills or pick up a child at school or write a book. As we cook that meal, show up for that meeting, or (gasp) do our taxes.
Yet, if joy is where God dwells, then is it possible that God wants us to invite joy into the mundane and hard parts of our lives?
I believe he does.
The other day I was working through a really long list of things I needed to accomplish. Honestly, I wasn’t sure that I could do it all. Yet I put on my big-girl pants and decided to work as hard as I could and do as much as I could. I was going to hack away at it: Like chopping wood. Or mowing a 5-acre yard with a push mower. Thankfully, God is working on me in this area. I realized quickly that this kind of attitude lacked any semblance of joy. I slowed down and invited God’s presence into what I was doing.
That had a couple of immediate benefits
One, that list was man-made (well, Suzie-made). It was a pressure cooker of to-do’s and they didn’t all need to be done that day. Sweet, how inviting God into our every day life offers such beautiful direction.
Two, it took the pressure off. I had made that list so long because I felt I had to do all that I could to make something “work.” All God asked me to do was to show up. Be faithful. Do my part. Whether that’s as a mom or in ministry or in any other part of my life.
When we show up, listening for his voice, ready to do what he asks us to do (and not the expectations we’ve placed on that list), God delights in what we are doing — and that invites joy. It allows us to celebrate what we are doing as we clear the gotta-get-it-done-or-else mentality to see the good in the mist of that role, task, or work.
We get to worship God as we work together, hand-in-hand, us and God.
Are you stuck in the grind?
You are wired for joy. Don’t forget that part of your spiritual DNA. Nurture it. Invite God into every part of what you are doing. Make what you do for an audience of One.
When we begin to do this, it creates a dwelling place for God to inhabit and that is sheer joy.
Read 1 Chronicles 16:27, Psalm 34:8, Psalm 28:7, Psalm 16:11.
Q: If the key to joy is inviting God into the mundane, what is one area where you will begin to invite him to join you?
Sometimes our wounded heart gets in the way of joy.
The Mended Heart: God’s Healing for Our Broken Places is a gentle resource to begin to address those hurting places.
- Giveaway for all of you: I’d love to offer a free download of the first few chapters of The Mended Heart, just for you. Read it. Download it. Share it.
- Second giveaway: Comment on today’s post and you will be entered to win a copy of The Mended Heart!