Some day everything will come together; all the stray ends of our imperfect lives will be gathered and tied into an elegant bow. So we wait . . . for perfection, for health, for money.
We defer joy.
A woman once described a day when all the stars of her scattered life seemed to align. The sun shone. She walked to a beautiful park hand-in-hand with her only grandson. They sat on a bench, ate hot dogs, played soccer, chatted with neighbours, then strolled back home to snuggle up together with a book. "For a few hours my world was perfect. If only every day could be like that," she said.
If only . . . so many days are ruled by that phrase. If only my child would call me. If only my husband would find a good job. If only I'd fall in love with Mr. Right. If only I had a child. If only my body would cooperate with my mind. A life lived in the "if onlies" can't find joy in the present.
Finding joy in the present means accepting present imperfections - little things like messes, unpainted walls, dreary weather and big things like unemployment, sickness, pain, divorce. Joy won't wait. It doesn't dwell in the past or wait for us in the future. It lives in the present - as God does.
When asked, "who are you?" the Father answered I AM. And Jesus carried that message into His ministry.
Lord, thank you that today you and I are at peace because you have forgiven my sins. And that peace brings me joy. My circumstances will never attain perfection but my friendship with you is perfect. And that gives me deep, heart-warming joy, holy joy, present joy.