Bigger than 2013

My wife and I are glad that it’s 2013. Besides our wedding day in November, 2012 was a year to forget. The year was filled with unexpected challenges, pain, loss, and heartache. Personally, it was one of the worst years in memory. Which brings to mind an important truth.

Lasting joy is found only in something bigger than anything that can happen to us.

Without something bigger – something more important – something eternal – all of life will be a disappointment. I don’t mean that every day will be a miserable day, but the sum total of all the days will unlikely lead to lasting joy. Think about it.

Just this morning I received another disappointing call. I had just woken up, excited to pack my bags and fly to Texas with my wife to see our family for the first since we were married. We live in California, so we only get to make the 1500 mile trip to see my parents and my brother’s family once a year (maybe twice, if we’re lucky). My three nieces are 6, 4 and 2, so each year between visits we skip over several inches of growth and huge developments in their young lives. Plus, the three little ones and my sister-in-law were unable to make it to the wedding, so the nieces were super excited to meet their new aunt!

But my brother called first thing this morning to share the bad news: two of our nieces had the flu. It had been a rough week and a rough morning and by now their entire family was a five person flu carrier. As disappointed as they were, we would not get to see them. It wasn’t worth getting anyone else sick.

It was one of those moments when i had to decide two things – 1) Will I choose to live in the disappointment or still live in gratitude? 2) Is seeing my family the most important thing in my life or is there something bigger?

Missing out on your nieces is not the biggest thing in the world. Unless, seeing you nieces is the biggest thing in your world. The same with everything else. Losing a job is not the biggest thing in the world, unless your job is the biggest thing in your world. Losing your health is not the biggest thing in the world, unless your health is the biggest thing in the world. You get the picture. Relationships… money… house… reputation… sex… hobbies… church… even life. Losing any of these is not the biggest thing in the world unless its the biggest thing in your world.

Don’t get me wrong here – losing things does not make me happy. But there is a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is circumstantial, joy is not. Happiness is fleeting because it’s based on temporal things, joy is steadfast because it’s based a permanent thing.

For me, that permanent thing, is God, revealed in Jesus Christ, the One that gives joy and will outlast everything else.

Paul, one of the writers of the Bible, puts it this way: “He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything i the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the thing we can’t see…..He existed before anything else and he holds all creation together.” – Colossians 1:15-17 (NLT, emphasis added)

He existed before anything else and he holds all creation together. If you’re going to put all your eggs in one basket, don’t you think the One who holds all creation together would be the best basket?

Lasting joy is found only in something bigger than anything that can happen to us.

Here’s to 2013. Here’s to choosing gratitude in the face of disappointment, and resting in an eternal God amid a life of temporary things.

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2 thoughts on “Bigger than 2013

  1. Troy Zaslove January 19, 2013 / 12:10 pm

    Amen and amen. Great post man. Congrats on the wedding! I hope we can catch up sometime soon. Keep that eternal joy!

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