Yesterday I was excited about my day: I was going to watch the Seattle Mariners major league baseball team play the Los Angeles Angels at Safeco Field in Seattle. Not only that, but friends from Portland, OR were driving to Seattle. I would get to watch one of my favorite past-times with some of my favorite people! Excellent.
My heart that morning, though, seemed to be full of more then happiness and excitement. My heart was full of joy. Joy is different then happiness. Happiness is dependent on things to make one happy. Joy is not dependent on those things to bring one joy.
My joy was based on my relationship with God. What I had been experiencing in my relationship with God was filling my heart with joy and peace. My heart was joyful with the love He has for me; my heart was full of joy with the peace that God has given me; my heart was full of joy -- period.
I recognized that my heart was not full of joy because of a baseball game or time with friends. It was joy.
As I drove to Safeco Field and found my way to the parking garage, I was encouraged by the progress that has been made in my life: to be able to drive a car; to be able to find a location that I had not driven to before; to be able to have a parking garage spot near to where I was to meet my friends were all very good things.
I did have a brief challenge. I am thankful for the creativity and wisdom God gave me to handle the challenge that I faced. Was I frustrated? Yes, but I kept moving to do the things I needed to do. I needed to ask for help and was given some. I eventually found what I was looking for without any other major setbacks. The challenge was taken care of.
Then off I went to meet my friends. It was a time of hugs, laughter, and finding our way to our seats.
We had a wonderful time together and the Mariners even won! After the game, we gave one another hugs and said our good-byes. We were on our way: my friends to Portland and I was on my way to Everett.
There were no challenges on my drive home. My heart was filled with happiness and gratitude, but it was still filled with joy. The Scriptures remind me: "the joy of the Lord is my strength." (Nehemiah 8:10)