Chasing Joy

I remember when we lived near the ocean and spent most of our free time on the beach. The kids would run back and forth along the shoreline, dodging in and out of the water. They would build their sand castles high with thick walls to hold back the water and protect their creation. They would often run straight out with their boards, chasing the waves and then wait expectantly to catch the perfect wave to ride back to shore.


wave waiting

But the greatest thrill, the greatest wave of joy and happiness, was not really in them catching that wave, but in letting that wave catch them. When they let go of control and joined the wave in its chosen path.  When they allowed the motion and driving forces of the water to lift them up and carry them along.  That is when the feeling they had been searching for the whole time came. Exhilaration. Euphoria. Total abandonment and freedom.


I see our (my) pursuit of happiness and joy that same way. We chase it down in buying things. We try to contain it with what we do. We go after the big job, the title, the house in just the right neighborhood, the right clothes, and the perfect kids. We perform our charitable acts because we know it’s what we ought to do… and we are left still feeling empty, still searching, and wondering when it will ever be good enough.

But it’s there, just waiting… waiting for the big exhale of expectation and the letting go of control.


Left to my own plan, I’m going to drown.

My wall can’t be built high enough and my acts, on their own, will never be enough and my own efforts will never measure up. But God.

Yes, but God has a plan that will lift me above all of that and send me soaring. Sit still and listen. Stop being so busy. Stop talking and making noise so you can hear His whispers. Feel His breath upon your ear exhaling His grace into your heart. Because His grace… it’s good enough. It is more than enough.


But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV


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