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Joy Doesn’t Come When the Sun Shines Brighter

Joy Doesn’t Come When the Sun Shines Brighter

There was a long time when I wanted to be anywhere but my real life. I lived for the next big life development that might make me feel content and comfortable in my skin. Maybe you can relate?

During grade school I thought summer would bring happiness. When I was a teenager I assumed moving out of my parent’s house would make me feel free and alive. When I was dating my husband, I knew without a doubt that getting engaged would make me feel whole. I wiled away years of my life just waiting for things to actually get good.

I am remarkably good at making things happen for myself. I used to think it was a great quality, but now I realize it’s my most masterful escape strategy. I didn’t like something in my life? I changed it.

The problem is, changing your circumstances isn’t always possible, and it’s certainly not always obedient to God.

You can find yourself chained by your own expectations of life. There are times when we must faithfully endure, and there are other times when it would just make our lives so much more pleasant. I lived a couple decades always looking for a better next option. I imagined lovely tomorrows filled with something nicer than today.

There was a time when God finally changed my future-focused heart for good. I had married that handsome boyfriend of mine, we moved across the country and away from everyone we knew, and my new husband traveled all the time. One morning I was curled around a toilet utterly sick and pregnant with my first little boy. I had extreme all-the-live-long-day sickness, and I was completely by myself. I couldn’t have manufactured a spiritual thought for anything, but that moment the Spirit calmed my heart. It made logical sense to want to be anywhere else, but the Lord gave me peace.

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. — Psalm 16:6

The comfort I experienced seemed like it was from within and from outside of myself at the same time. It was my inner voice, but with wisdom I couldn’t have bestowed upon myself. I just knew that this was a sacred and good place to be. I was humbled, and God loves humility. I was learning perseverance and Romans 5:4 reminded me that character and hope would follow. There was no rushing it or getting around it. God had drawn my boundaries in that season, and it was lovely even when it was excruciating. The only reason it was lovely was because of the inheritance of Jesus Himself.

Jesus was and is always the prize.

There is freedom in realizing that the joy doesn’t come when the sun shines brighter. There isn’t wholeness found in a new relationship or house. We don’t complete ourselves when we climb another rung on the ladder. We don’t have to strive to make matters better for ourselves.

It takes a wild hope to walk in the way God made us, and in the place He’s put us. The deep, abiding freedom that comes from resting in what Christ has done for us and knowing that He is the prize is the one thing that can cut the striving for better.

He has drawn pleasant lines for you. He has never taken His eyes off your situation. You don’t have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get to a better place or version of yourself. All you have to do is rest in the work Jesus did on your behalf, and then walk with Him in the works God created for you before the beginning of time (Ephesians 2:10).

In this crazy world of bright and shiny accomplishments and possessions, let’s not get caught up or roped in. He’s made a way for us to walk wild and free with Him.

Anthem of Wild and Free

The world may tell us we’re too much and never enough.

But we can walk wildly in who God created us to be and rest freely in the work Jesus did for us.

We do not have to be confined or conformed by cultural expectations.

We are unchained from our past and unafraid of our future.

We choose compassion over comparison.

We love without condition, without reserve.

Our eyes are on God, we hold nothing back, we run fast and strong, we do not hide our light.

We aren’t wild and free for our sake alone, rather we sing life, hope, and truth over the world with abandon — just as our God sings over us.

We are wild and free. And we are poised to do mighty things, in Christ alone.

Original post by Hayley Morgan, co-author with Jess Connolly of Wild and Free, written for Devotionals Daily.

Watch the Trailer: Wild and Free

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Your Turn

Where in your own life can you ask Him to show you the pleasant and lovely lines He’s laid out for you? Ask Him to show you the reason and the fruit. He’s good to show Himself when you look for Him. Come join the conversation on our blog! We want to hear your thoughts! ~ Devotionals Daily