It’s Tuesday night, and this time I made sure to set my alarm for 5:30am to meet with God in prayer. Usually, getting up this early is pretty difficult for me because I’m just not a morning person. My prayer time typically takes place around midday or in the evening. This particular morning, I was determined to try something different.
Wednesday morning arrives, and I hear the blaring alarm on my smartphone beckoning me to keep my promise, and rise early for prayer. Everything in me was protesting, wanting to remain warm and snug in my comfy bed.
Nevertheless, my Spirit was longing for interaction with my creator.
Five minutes later…
I’m profusely crying within the confines of my closet, releasing all of my burdens to the one I felt had the remedy.
I remained there for nearly an hour. I felt such tremendous strength, although my body was tired. My spirit felt refreshed, and I had an feeling that this would be a spectacular day.
I was able to get my workout in, take my son to daycare, and begin my commute to work. I did all of this with time to spare, which is not my usual scenario. As you can imagine, I was elated because this day was unfolding so perfectly. I stopped to get breakfast, and they even got my order correct. When I opened the food, it was piping hot, just like I like it. I was all smiles, and as giddy as could be.
Nothing was gonna take my joy! I wanted the devil to hear me. I meant NOTHING!
Then, it happened.
I’m traveling down the freeway, smiling and singing along to one of my favorite songs, and all of a sudden an officer on-foot, standing smack-dab in the middle of street, summoned me to pull over.
My heart hit the floor, and all my joy with it!
I needed a moment to stop, and rationalize what was really happening. I’ve never seen a police officer handing out tickets and stopping drivers, while he’s on-foot. That in itself was just mind-boggling!
I’m sitting in my car pondering on why I’ve been stopped, and I’m like, “Lord, I got up early to pray! Why is this happening?”
How is such a perfect morning taking such an abrupt turn?
While I’m having a follow-up conversation with God in the middle of a traffic stop, I hear in my left ear, “Ma’am, do you know why I stopped you?”
I look at the officer in sheer disbelief, and respond, “I’m sorry, I do not.”
“Ma’am, you were speeding. Do you know how fast you were going?”
At this point, I’m shaking my head, thinking this is not happening. He spoke to me with such certainty, declaring that I was going ten miles above the speed limit.
He handed me the white paper that all drivers dread, and I had to read my supposed indictment in disbelief.
What do you say after that, “Thank you, Mr. Officer”?
The only words that came to my mind at that moment was, “Welp, there goes my joy.”
I folded my ticket and put it in my purse. All of my singing ceased. My excitement was diminished. I pulled in my salon’s parking lot, frustrated and a little taken back.
As Christians, we have a tendency to feel that we are exempt from experiencing bad days. When we choose to live for God, we don’t take into consideration that living for him does not shield us from the woes of daily life.
As soon as God confirmed to his son, Jesus, that he was pleased with him, God then led him to be tested by devil. There went his joy, or did it?
Just like Jesus, we as Christians must understand that our joy should not be contingent upon our circumstances. We must be vigilant in maintaining our joy regardless of the lemons life presents us with.
After taking a moment to acknowledge God once more before my day officially started, I thought about how many times our feelings vary in a given day. We have to choose where we will reside, emotionally. It didn’t take me very long to resort back to joy. When discouragement tried to find place in my heart, I had to remember the time invested in prayer that morning, and WHO was with me. The same God that woke me up that morning, and met me in prayer, still had plans to grant me all I needed to have a good, productive day.
That didn’t change because Mr. Officer decided to ruffle my feathers.
I thanked him for teaching me how important it is to choose joy even in the midst of the greatest “there goes my joy” moments. At one point I felt like getting up for prayer wasn’t beneficial, but I quickly realized that this is what caused me to have the mindset that all things work together for my good.
Have you ever had any “there goes my joy” moments? Did it completely take your joy away? I’d love to hear a little about your experience with similar situations.
Drop me a line!