Monday, October 29, 2012

Pursuing Happiness - Day 30

"Happiness recedes from those who pursue her."
 Phillip Yancey

When I was much younger and not very wise, I thought I had the right to happiness. I had somehow developed a bit of my own theology wherein, if I did my very best then surely the Lord would see to it that my life would be one titled "Happily Ever After."

It didn't take long before I realized there was a bit of hole somewhere in my theological reasoning, but I couldn't figure it out. Why would God allow all these troubles to come to me when I was trying my best to obey all the rules?

I began to feel a bit out of sorts with God for not keeping up His end of the agreement I had drawn up. So I decided to find happiness on my own. I looked in all the places other people seemed to be finding it. My troubles didn't vanish into a cloud of euphoria, but I felt happier.....for a while.

Somehow this brand of happiness seemed to be rather superficial. It didn't satisfy. I found I had to work harder and harder at it for there to be any measure of satisfaction. Where was this elusive happiness my soul craved?

In the midst of my frantic searching someone whispered, "God is far more interested in making you more like Jesus than He is in your happiness."

I could hardly take it in. Really? Would He allow me to be miserable? It sounded painfully like truth. So I bent my knees. I asked Him to do the work in me He wanted to do. Not without a bit of fear and trembling and not without a secret little hope that He would relent and just make me happy.

It turns out He really is more concerned about molding and shaping me into the image of Jesus than giving me everything my little heart desires. I have seen Him do miraculous things, and I have seen Him allow difficult circumstances that shake me to the foundation of my soul, but always, always He has been there.

I have discovered that joy is much more substantial than happiness. It under-girds suffering and shines through tears of  sorrow. It is His gift, wrapped in a love which does what is best in spite of the pitiful cries for happiness.



  1. This makes me think of one of my favorite marriage books...Sacred Marriage...sub title...”what is God designed marriage to make us holy instead of happy”...This is a game changer in our marriage and in our lives...great post...blessings to you~

  2. Great words here, Linda. Molding and shaping us into the image of His dear Son is really what our lives are all about. I am really being blessed through this 31 day journey with you.

  3. That last paragraph, that there is the best part!

    (love to you)


  4. Linda, in this we are soul mates.

  5. LOVELY, Linda. Thank you for this.

  6. I can relate to much of what you've said here, Linda. I was just thinking back on two major disappointments in my life. The first now seems a bit superficial, and I can see now why He may have allowed it all those years ago. The second I still endure and don't see any resolutions on the horizon. But, I do believe it has caused me to press deeper and given me a desire to be more like Christ in many very practical ways. And yes, it has much more to do with an inner joy now, than that shallow happiness that I was previously more concerned about.