My Joy Is a Cheater

"Joy" From Disney Pixar's Inside Out. image source:
“Joy” From Disney Pixar’s Inside Out.
image source:

I recently wrote a blog post called Why I Should Rejoice When I’m Stuck in Traffic. In this post, I talked about the fact that I have the tendency to get upset at the little things in life. It’s something I’ve improved on. But it’s also something I still struggle with.

The other day, our internet router was not working properly. My computer would connect to the internet for about three seconds, giving me false hope, and then without warning it would disconnect. Now, this was extra frustrating because I was trying to access a file I needed for a homework assignment due in a few days. Instead of being patient, instead of realizing that worst case scenario, I could still go to the library and finish this project off, I whined and complained and probably yelled a bit as Jeff sat across the room from me.

“What’s going on?” He asks.
“Oh the usual,” I reply. “Our dumb, piece of crap, useless, idiotic router isn’t working again.”
A stupid grin appears on his face.
“Is that all?”
I cross my arms and groan.

Now of course, Jeff isn’t perfect, but he is a lot more patient than I am. So here I am, fuming about this dumb router, as Jeff calmly walks over with a big goofy grin on his face. He sits down at the couch with me and uses an analogy I will never forget. Partially because I’m writing it down here on my blog, but also because it was, I will admit, pretty good.

“Your Joy is a cheater,” He says.
“Yup. It’s a big fat cheater.”

Confused, I listen to what my husband has to say. And what he said made me feel simultaneously annoyed at myself for what I was doing wrong, and annoyed at him for being 100% right. He was right about my Joy. It was a cheater.

As a Christian, I know that my joy should always be in the Lord. My joy should be so wrapped up in the Lord that even when things don’t go my way, I am not completely ruined because my joy is in something (someone) stable.

And yet, my joy was cheating. My Joy should have been in the Lord, but it wasn’t. My joy was wrapped up in EVERYTHING but. The router stops working? My joy runs off and joins the router. Traffic jams? There goes Joy again. An argument with my spouse? Seeya, Joy. Instead of sticking with God, my joy was running off to be with everything and everyone that got me down.

Every single problem in my life, big or small, had the power to steal my joy. To take my joy away from where it should have been firmly planted.

After Jeff told me about this, it truly made me aware of how often I gave away my joy, and how little I let my joy stick with Jesus. So now, I’m praying that my joy will always be with the Lord, so that when we have a silly little internet problem or when I’m stuck in traffic or when Jeff buys the wrong kind of salami, I don’t feel devastated but instead still feel joyful.

“Indeed, you are our glory and joy.”
1 Thessalonians 2:20

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