ramblings from the noisedoctor

April 21, 2008

what if i don’t want to be happy?

Filed under: Bible study, Christianity, infertility — noisedoctor @ 8:41 am

I’ve been trying to get caught up on some of the recent teachings by John Piper from the book of Romans. He’s been talking about Romans 13:8 “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another…” He mentioned a quote by Jeremy Taylor:

God threatens terrible things if we will not be happy.

That really piqued my interest. I wanted to research that a little bit, so I found a reference on Piper’s site to a verse that Taylor was referring:

Because you did not serve the LORD your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity… Deuteronomy 28:47 (NIV)

I know that verse continues on into a specific list of repercussions for Israel’s disobedience. Yet I think that there are lessons for me to learn in there. My gut reaction is that God is saying something between, “I gave you all of this, and you won’t be happy?” and “what is it going to take to make you people happy?”

Though I have plenty of room left to grow, I think that’s an area of my life where I have grown a great deal over the past few years. I think this was particularly evident in the 18 months where my wife and I were unsuccessfully trying to conceive a child. Yes, there were times I was bummed and frustrated, but overall I made conscious choices to be happy and joyful.

I learned to appreciate other things in my life more: my three nephews, my wife, the wonderful house and property I have, etc. Yes, I didn’t have what I was hoping for the most at that time, but how infinite the other blessings I had. Why should I sit and mope until I get that one desire?

Now that we do have the child that we so hoped and prayed for, I think that I am even more joyful and happy. I think that I notice, appreciate, and praise God for little things that would have never caught my attention before.

I don’t recall the exact situation, but I was talking to someone recently about my son. I mentioned how good he was, how well he was sleeping, and things like that. This person asked if he got fussy. I said that all babies get fussy, and he was no exception. I forget exactly what this person said, but it was something to the effect of, “I bet there are times you wish you could trade him in,” (or “send him back” or something similar). I didn’t even have to think before I replied, “never, not once.” I think that’s because I’ve started to learn to live happy by choosing to be happy. I’m not waiting to “feel” happy. I’m looking for the positives, the blessings in my life and just being happy.

I have a long way to go, many more blessings to recognize and praise God for, and many, many other areas in which to grow, but I hope I never hear the Lord say to me, “Because you did not serve Me joyfully and gladly in your time of prosperity…”

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