I was sitting outside my hotel room feeling utterly exhausted, terribly worn down, mulling over the latest stressful situation in my life caused by others’ choices, feeling wiped out by my own thoughts, realizing yet again how I continue to allow fear and anxiety to work themselves into my heart, when God gave me a beautiful gift. A loving reminder. A joyful blessing. A squirrel came scurrying down an exterior hallway, ran at top squirrely speed past me, and gladly, gleefully, happily, ebulliently, joyfully, gratefully hurried to its next location with the big snack it had secured in its thankful teeth. Sheer bliss, that squirrel had. While I, who am promised forever life with God through repentance, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in His death and resurrection, and a life dedicated to God, still spend far too much time allowing the love, hope, peace, and joy God has given me to get buried under the wrong thoughts I allow into my heart.
Rest assured that squirrel didn’t have a care in the world other than taking its yummy treasure to his next destination, while I was feeling crushed by the weight of trials, struggles, challenges, not to mention the heaviness of the world’s woes.
Imagine my surprise how God used a squirrel to remind me that joy is a choice. I can set my heart and eyes upon the Lord and His Word and His ways and His will and His countless blessings and rejoice in Jesus and the forever intimate relationship with God I have been given – or I can get my focus off of God and go downhill in a heartbeat.
Joy is a choice, I believe. And even when our life’s circumstances are challenging to say the least, when we set our hearts upon the Lord, we can find joy – everlasting joy – in the Lord and in His countless blessings and His never-ending love and goodness.
Thank you God for that squirrel! Thank you God for the reminder about JOY! Thank you God for nature! Thank you God for animals! Thank you God for not letting me stay in my wrong thinking and confronting me yet again with the truth that you do not want your children to focus on the world’s troubles and to be self-focused and self-pitying and negative and anxious and such, but that you want us to look to you, oh Lord. Thank you for everlasting life with you, oh God. Thank you for giving me eyes to see that squirrel and spiritual ears to hear you speaking to my heart, oh God. Please Father use this happy squirrel story to help my readers to get their focus on you – and to be thankful. And to choose joy, oh Lord. The joy of you, dear God. AMEN!
“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4 KJV
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8 KJV