How does it feel to be ‘living the dream’? What is it like? Have you ever wondered?
I had a glimpse recently, and it wasn’t what I expected.
It was a Friday morning and I was looking back on a week in which some really positive things happened. In fact, it made my heart swell with happiness when I thought about them. Yet when I first woke up, I didn’t feel full of joy; I was aware of pain in my soul. Why? Because of one thing that didn’t go well. I almost missed the joy of all the great moments by focusing on one setback.
'Slow down and really receive'
Thankfully, I am learning to ‘slow down and really receive.’ This is a phrase we heard a few years ago (in a prophetic word), and it has been so helpful!
So, that morning, I stopped and took some time with my Heavenly Dad to reflect on my week. As I did, I found myself peeling back layers:
- At first I felt really tired, so I said to God, I really need You right now. Please help me meet with You afresh.
- I began to hand the painful memory over to Him.
- Then I started thanking Him for the happy memories.
That was when it hit me. ‘Wow! I’m so blessed! There are so many good things happening! And I almost missed this moment!’
Expanding our capacity
In our culture, we don’t seem to ‘do’ joy and celebration so well. They didn’t seem to have this problem in Bible times. Consider this Psalm for example:
“It was like a dream come true
When You freed us from captivity
And brought us back to Zion!
We laughed, and laughed, and overflowed with gladness!
We were left shouting for joy,
And singing Your praise!
All the nations saw it and joined in, saying,
‘The Lord has done great miracles for them!’
Yes, He did mighty miracles,
And we are overjoyed!” (Psalm 126:1-2 TPT)
Like me, you may feel you are not naturally wired to be happy - or experience blessing. But it’s not too late to change! We can un-learn our tendency to be wary and sceptical. And when fun stuff happens, we can learn to throw off caution and really enjoy the moment. We can develop our capacity for happiness!
I’m not suggesting that bad things never happen – or that we can expect to live permanently on cloud nine. We know there will be difficulties, setbacks and adversities in this life. But we know too that our God is Goodness Personified, and that He has an unbelievably happy future in store for us. We also have the example of Jesus, who was the most joyful person on the planet. (See Hebrews 1:9.) So when we are blessed, and good things happen in our lives, we can be confident that it’s just a taste of what’s to come, and that our Father wants us to enjoy the moment – really enjoy it.
'In the land of the living'
So this is my word of encouragement for all of us who want to expand our capacity for happiness:
- Let’s learn a regular habit of ‘slowing down and really receiving.’
- Let’s take time with our Heavenly Father to peel back the layers of physical tiredness and emotional baggage – and experience those ‘Wow!’ moments when our eyes are opened to truly see His love working wonders all around.
As we do, we will find layers of cynicism and doubt coming off. More and more, we will learn to be immersed in the culture of Heaven – joy and happiness.
I will move past my enemies with this one, sure hope:
that with my own eyes, I will see the goodness of the Eternal
in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13 The Voice)