Thursday, April 2, 2009

Are You Like a Box of Chocolates?

"Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're gonna get." Remember that great line from Forrest Gump? Sure, it's corny, but it's true. We really don't know the twists and turns ahead, but we can still savor the sweetness out of even the most adverse situations when we are connected to Him, the true vine.

So, life can be like a box of chocolates, but are we supposed to be like a box of chocolates, always keeping people guessing about our next response? I have nothing against anybody having a little mystery, but I'm talking about MOODINESS! It's this green-eyed monster that sneaks up on me at times and launches nasty attacks (gggrrrrrr!) Ha! Wouldn't this be easier to address if we could say that we just had no control over our moods?

Well, unless there is a medical issue there, moodiness is something that can be controlled when we are under Christ's control. (Christ can regulate ALL issues (medical, etc) but I'm not including that here.) Okay, so what am I speaking of exactly? I'm talking about the moodiness that causes us to say things like, "I woke up on the wrong side of the bed." "I'm not in a good mood." Or, maybe you don't say anything. Maybe you just have a crazy or mean look that tells others not to cross you. Whatever it may be for you, people who have trouble with moodiness know exactly who they are.

This topic certainly wouldn't come up if I hadn't experienced people being moody with me. Okay, okay. . .(deep breath) I can admit it--I can be a moody person at times. We can all come up with excuses for the moodiness. When life isn't meeting our expectations. . . when we don't feel well. . .somebody has treated us unfairly . . .we are tired. . . we received bad news, . . .hormones. . . and I could go on and on and on. The thing is, we can try to come up with excuses for it, but when we are anchored in Christ, there is NO excuse!

Part of abiding in the vine is having faith and being obedient to God's Word. We are not to be tossed to and fro by life's ups and downs. None of us can be effective witnesses for Christ when we're moody. It's so easy to be elated when life is great and to sink to debilitating lows when we're suffering or tragedy strikes.

So, how should Christians respond to life's ups and downs? Through our connection to the vine, Jesus Christ, we can transcend life's circumstances with joy. Jesus says, "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full" (John 15:11). When things are up, we won't be caught in a deceptive and temporary high. Conversely, we won't sink down to depressing lows if remain connected to the vine. Our lives should be intertwined with His so closely that He can carry us through the storm and stabilize us through both the good times and the bad.

This is getting a little longer than I had wanted but only because it's an issue I struggle with at times. Still, I want to add that surrounding yourself with others who don't feed into the moods can be helpful. Watch your friends and acquaintances and remember that iron sharpens iron.

Let's go to the next level and experience the real and constant joy of abiding in Him. Let's also make sure that people know what to expect from us. They can expect the Lord's loving kindness, tender mercy, and His joy--no matter what the circumstances are.

Have a blessed day!

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