equilibrium: where our best soul peace comes from #thedailyhaiku 25

 

It doesn’t take much to rock our world or spoil our day, does it? With 24 hour news reports, lives that are increasingly fractured and eminently distracted by pinging phones and tablets, we can quickly sway from delight to despair, from joy to sadness, from feeling carefree to being consumed with fear.

And that doesn’t include our own internal make up and body chemistry, plus our propensity for self-preoccupation and concern, which can play havoc with our feelings on the best of days.

So how do we find and maintain a state of measured calm in all of this? How do we avoid being at the mercy of our feelings and subject to change because of shifts in the world around? Where is the equilibrium we all seek?

What works may vary from person to person, but the major stabilising thing in my life is my faith in Christ. Not that my faith doesn’t shake or falter at times. The vital part is what and who we place our faith in, not how great our faith might be in and of itself.

Trusting in Christ is how I achieve a measure of balance, composure and calm, despite what might be happening in my life. It’s not a state of switched off bliss, ignoring the things that disturb my soul while I meditate or something. It starts with a conscious awareness of my need.

It’s a willing surrender to God as loving Father. He cares deeply about what hurts us, and has the ability to keep us stable instead of falling apart, to give us wisdom, equilibrium and strength whenever we need it, and remind us that He is in charge of everything.

Though I may come to God in a state of turmoil to begin with, once I have stilled and rested myself in His presence, prayed and handed over my worries and concerns, He fills me with His supernatural peace, calm and contentment.

It’s a gift. Pure grace, in fact. Freely available to us all. And the best thing? We have access to it as often as we need. There are no limits to God’s willingness to meet with us and calm our fretful hearts.

equilibrium

equilibrium

we become happy and calm

focusing on God

©joylenton

searching out the joy bringers

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I don’t have to search much to find the joy bringers in my life. For instance, I love (in no particular order) – curling up with a good book, spending time with family, drinking coffee, eating dark chocolate, reading and writing poetry, scenting sea air, watching day seeping into dusk and sunset, being outside,  laughter, company, connecting, silence and solitude.

Some of these are easily achievable now; others must wait for the right timing, opportunity, sufficient health, strength and energy to coincide. You’ll note some of them seem contradictory. That’s because I’m a reflective, contemplative introvert at heart and also a woman who savours being in touch with others!

While I relish having a writing outlet, and derive great satisfaction and pleasure from many things, it is relationships most of all that provide me with the greatest joy and pleasure.

I delight most in family and friends, knowing and being known, loving and being loved. God’s purpose is primarily for us to be in relationship with Him and with one another, to be life enhancers and joy bringers as we shine His light in our daily lives.

What does being a joy bringer look like? Does it mean having a perfect, joy filled life? Far from it. It’s more about joy in knowing God and sensing His hand at work.

“Joy is not gush. Joy is not mere jolliness. Joy is perfect aquiescence – acceptance, rest – in God’s will, whatever comes. And that is so, only for the soul that delights in God” ~ Amy Carmichael

Because God-shaped joy transcends circumstances – it is mysterious, wondrous and liberating. When our lives are less than joyful, we can discover it afresh in recognising how we are held, strengthened, kept and comforted in our hour of need.

God’s constant presence is what stabilises our see-saw emotions and gives grace to cope for one more day, then the next, and so on, providing the means to endure or overcome.

The joy we have is in being able to cast our cares and burdens on the Lord, release our worry and anxiety. We can rest in knowing God is dealing with our problems, granting us grace to wait, offering His perfect peace while we pause before receiving answers to come.

And you know what brings us magnified joy? it’s the ability to care, to hold one another in prayer, encourage each other on the journey and share the blessings we receive.

“When large numbers of people share their joy in common, the happiness of each is greater because it adds fuel to the other’s flame” ~ St Augustine

Today I invite you to search out your own joy bringers and reflect on ways in which you are able to offer joy to others, because what we focus on most tends to define our days.

31-days-of-journeying-into-joy-badge

Welcome to #day23 of #write31days of journeying into joy

It’s a joy to have you travelling with me, especially as we begin to wind up this series.

Each day has been an adventure of faith with God providing abundantly! 

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we can still rise with singed wings

write31days-journeying-into-joy-we-can-still-rise-with-singed-wings

 

The hot flames of fiery trials and afflictions can sear the life out of us. We feel battered, bruised and burnt. Maybe you’re going through some hard stuff right now and wondering just when it will end, as life causes you to fade and lose your lustre.

Sometimes we forget that we are not alone in the heat of it all. Jesus is in the fire with us. Though He may not always rescue us miraculously, He does promise the protection of His constant presence, the comfort of His peace in the midst of our pain and problems.

How does joy fit into all of this? Surely it’s an unlikely pairing with pain? Yes and no. We feel joyless and so do our circumstances, but we cannot have the continual presence of Jesus without His joy rubbing off on us.

It’s always there, always available. Our task is to see and sense its presence, the way joy waits on the other side of sorrow and sadness, sits with grief and partners us in pain.

Joy isn’t a feeling, it’s a faith thing, a spiritual gift and grace. We don’t have to try to muster up joyful feelings, only snuggle closer to our Saviour. Because He is the repository of every good thing, the anchor for our aching hearts, the balm to calm our storms.

When we’re seeking solace, we need look no further than Jesus. Sure, we do tend to seek it elsewhere, grope for hope in other people and other things, and sometimes they help for a while. But lasting hope and help are found in God, no-one and nothing else.

With singed wings

I want to bypass hard and sharp,

miss the shards of glass piercing me

Only joy can cut a bright path

through dark, press past all our pain

 

and sit waiting with expectancy

for us to shake off grey dust

and all that clings tenaciously

 

We rise again with phoenix

of hope – blazing us clean

as we finally find our feet,

climb free with singed wings

©JoyLenton2016

There is still beauty to be found in the ashes of these dying back days, the paring away of vitality. God sees that in us too. We are just as precious to God, whether lively or weak, vibrant or dulled by pain. He just holds us all the more tenderly as we lean closer to Him and the safety of His loving embrace.

31-days-of-journeying-into-joy-badgeWelcome to #day15 of #31days of journeying into joy. Thank you for following along. I am praying for you all as we undertake this journey.

If anyone would like to share their current challenges, you can do so in the comments below, or message me privately. Bless you for being here, friend.

write31days-journeyingintojoy-we-can-still-rise-high-with-singed-wings