One pattern that keeps emerging in my scripture study is the link between joy and progress. So many of the verses about happiness are in the middle of a story - not the end.
Two years ago I ran a marathon with my sisters. We lived in different states so we each trained separately and then came together on race day to battle the wind and rain (and many miles) together. If you had asked me that morning where I would find joy, I would have told you it was waiting for me just past the finish line. And while I definitely found it there 🙌🏻, I also found it at each mile marker. Every time we passed one I felt a little surge of strength, knowing the miles ahead were always decreasing…and trusting the training had made me strong enough to handle the strain.
In life, it’s easy to get side-tracked; to look at the skinny/speedy runners next to us and lose site of the progress we’ve made. This life isn’t about a finish line, a particular pace, or suffering through the miles until the end finally comes. It is about celebrating the small, daily victories and having patience with our own set backs. It’s about looking forward with hope.
Joy comes when we realize we ARE moving forward. He won’t make the path easy - because doing so might weaken us and limit our happiness in the long run. But as Douglas F. Prawitt put it “He will help you as you refuse to give up, as you call upon His name and continue to try to give Him your whole heart.”
Happiness is available at every stage and during every mile - we just need to be watching for the mile markers and keep our focus forward. #seekjoy