Saturday, October 15, 2011

Peace or Happiness?

My life lately seems to work around themes.  Last year, around this time, the theme was to "simplify".  Practically, this meant to declutter, and streamline routines, and let unnecessary tasks go.  It was what I felt God was telling me in answer to my prayers for peace, calmness, and less anxiety.  I began to notice a huge difference in the atmosphere in our home and my attitude.

Recently, I began again to pray for peace, for clarity.  This time as I listen for God's gentle guidance, the theme seems to be "contentment and thankfulness".  I just love when God puts answers right smack in your face at every turn. Lovingly, of course.

God reminds me all the time that I am right where He wants me to be with my job as a teacher in a Christian school, which I also consider a ministry. I have seen, first hand, fruits of this ministry.  But it never fails, some circumstance throws me off, makes me doubt, makes me think that I should be the one educating my own children, making me jealous or envious of those who are at home with their children.

It is at this time that I have to stop and compare these feelings, the doubts, the emotions against the Word of God.  Is it ever okay to be envious, jealous, or covetous of something that someone else has? God's Word says it's not okay and that it is sin. But that's exactly what I'm doing when I look at other families and compare or want our family to look like theirs.  Then the flip side of the question is whether it is a sin to work outside the home and let others educate your children.  Nope, not specifically.  Could it be? Sure, if you're not seeking God's guidance.  Or going against your husband's wishes for the family.

Given the option of being thankful and content with where you are and what you have or being envious of what someone else has or is doing, you can never go wrong with thanking God in ALL circumstances.

I think that sometimes, as Christians we decide whether something is in God's will for our life based on the way we feel about it.  Whether we feel "at peace" with that situation.  This is a common phrase that I hear thrown around when Christians are faced with a decision to make.  They mean well. They likely legitimately want to do God's will.  But too many times, we confuse "peace" with "happiness".  No choice that you make, no path that you choose will make you "happy" all the time.  Even if you are smack in the middle of God's will, we still live in an imperfect world and will face uncomfortable situations, difficult people and things that just make us angry.  There will be times that you are exhausted, overwhelmed, and feel like you'll never catch up.  As moms that's pretty much our state of being for the first years of motherhood, no matter what.
God in His infinite wisdom and love for you has mapped out every step of your life, and He wants to make that plan known to you.  But to be sure that you are in His will, you have to be in His Word.  When you know that He has revealed what He wants for your life, and it has been backed up by the Word of God, that plan doesn't change based on earthly circumstances or a "feeling".  Don't let circumstances steal your joy, or determine what you feel is God's will.