As the summer months begin to close down and the routine for fall months moves in, we hope that you have taken some time these couple of months to reflect on the rest and beauty found in Christ. Often when we take a break from routine, we create space in our soul, heart and mind for God to begin nurturing the seeds (maybe of a different sort that) He has planted in our heart long ago. It has been a delightful process to watch how our friend Margaret Kemp has stepped out in faith and bravery to begin working on her love of writing. This is a seed gift that God planted within her heart long ago.
I remember sitting on my sofa with her one summer as she shared her desire to write and our conversation ended with, "you just have to begin!"
A little encouragement can go a long way when you take the time to listen, challenge, and pray together God's will! Margaret has been at work writing and sharing her heart with us as a guest writer now with several blogs. Just recently, she took the plunge and submitted a blog with Proverbs 31 Ministries writing a daily devotional and won a spot! It was published last month! Because of copyright laws, we are unable to publish it here, but we can share the link (see below). She has written several more for us here at Restore Ministries and today is it is my pleasure to share another of her creative writings, "The Happiest Place!" I love her thoughts and how she shares the practice joy and of a delighted heart!
When my children were young, we made several trips to the “Happiest Place on Earth.” You know the place…mouse ears, castles, rides. I remember the twinge of excitement that would bubble up once we began seeing orange groves and billboards along the Highway. And when we entered the gates, it seemed magical…well, sort of magical, as long as you could disregard the throngs of people wearing shorts and taking pictures. It was a happy place…that is, until mid-afternoon when at least one of the kids became grouchy and had an “episode.” (Your family may call it a meltdown or tantrum.) We’d fix that problem and go along our merry way-- until it rained, or someone got sick, or the lines were too long, or we couldn’t agree on a plan of action.
Suddenly our delight evaporated.
It seems like people are always searching for something to “make us happy.” We crave the temporary euphoria we experience when our team wins the game. We search for that perfect job, home, relationship, or hobby.
Earthly happiness dangles like a carrot in front of our nose. It’s elusive, fleeting, unsatisfying.
Yet the Bible says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
God wants to give us things to enjoy. He wants to place holy desires in our hearts and then fill those desires. We begin by delighting in Him.
Delight is a form of happiness that’s wide-eyed with wonder and bubbling with enthusiasm. The Hebrew word used in this verse is “anag,” and connotes something soft, delicate, and alluring.
David went about his day CONSCIOUS OF GOD’S PRESENCE. He talked to God all day long.
“I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” Ps. 16:2
He recognized that every good thing is his life was, one way or another, connected to God.
And his delight was multiplied when he joined with other believers. When he worshiped with his peeps, he was bursting with excitement. He was even known to dance for joy. (II Samuel 6:14)
“As for the saints who are in the land, they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight.” Ps. 16:3 NKJV
David was CONTENT WITH THE LIFE GOD GAVE HIM.
There’s nothing wrong with having ambitions and aspirations. But in our striving for “something better”, let’s not miss out on the good we already have. Delighting in the Lord means counting our blessings, and marveling at the goodness all around us.
“Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, surely I have a delightful inheritance.” Ps. 16: 5-6 NKJV
David was CONFIDENT OF GOD’S CARE.
“I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.” Ps. 16: 7-8 NKJV
A delighted attitude is a peace-filled mindset, free from worry and insecurity. David rested in the assurance that God would give him wisdom for every decision. David was an eager student, even if it meant going to “night school.” He learned his lessons in dark, uncertain circumstances. Because he trusted God, David confidently declared, “I shall not be moved.”
Here is our hope: our troubles will not last forever.
God will remove them all, if not in this world, then in the next. But in the meantime, He walks with us along the rough roads, and He’s a delightful companion.
A delighted heart experiences a joyful present and expects a pleasant future.
A delighted heart refuses to become tangled in a net of negativity.
A delighted heart lives in the awareness of God’s presence, walks in contentment and confidence, and rests in fullness of joy.
And that, my friend, is the Happiest Place on Earth.
Here is a link to Margaret's devotional with Proverbs 31 Ministry : When Vicious Words Offend Us
Kathy and I ask that you please continue to be in prayer for Restore Ministries and for us as we meet to pray, seek direction, discuss, and make plans for the fall semester...AND continue to rest ourselves! It's been a very busy summer for us both!
It is our heart and the mission of Restore Ministries to offer opportunities to awaken a passion and restore the deepest yearning to know Christ more intimately. We seek to minister creatively to the heart and spirit through retreats, Biblical teaching, and the arts. It is our desire to provide a ministry permeated with the love and grace of Jesus Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, equipping believers in the transforming work of God in our lives as He restores our soul and guides us in paths of righteousness for His name sake. Keep praying with us!
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