Choosing Joy

Everyone at Casa Burchett has been ill recently. Joni brought home the first cold bug. Then dog friend Hannah had a little stomach virus and that was not pretty. I will spare you the details. Now it is my turn to be sick.

I thought of how really crappy I have felt this week. And then I realized how much I take for granted the fifty weeks or so out of every year when I feel good or even great. Sure I have the usual little aches and pains that a 50 year old plus body will accumulate. But for five decades I have been blessed with the ability to run slowly, jump barely, dance awkwardly and laugh often. I am so blessed.

I thought about how I never got sick once during Joni’s chemotherapy when her immune system was so fragile. Praise God for that.

I thought about people who feel far worse than I have felt this week every single day of their lives. Yet they get up and go about their business every day. I thought of those who deal heroically with chronic pain and soldier on without complaint. I thought about those who begin to feel badly and never get better. I expect that I will recover soon. Some never will.

I admire the people who find joy in their lives even when they don’t feel like it. King Solomon said the following in the Book of Proverbs.

       A cheerful look brings joy to the heart,
       and good news gives health to the bones.  (Proverbs 15, NIV)

The Message has an interesting take on this proverb.

       A twinkle in the eye means joy in the heart, and good news makes you feel fit as a fiddle.

Think about the people who choose joy when circumstances don’t warrant that action. The kind of personality that responds with joy often features a twinkle in the eye. Joni and I call those people “bucket-fillers” because they always give more than they take and you just want to be around them.

Paul said in his letter to the church at Phillipi that he had learned to be content in his circumstance. It didn’t come naturally for him either.

     I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.   (Philippians 4,  The Message)

I am grateful for the illness because it makes me appreciate health. My tens of readers are grateful for my illness because it shortens my ramblings considerably. Enjoy the word count respite. I hope you are able to choose joy today even if your circumstance is not what you desire.