I love being happy. There are specific times and places that I can think of when I've been happy. That rush of emotion, a smile that won't leave. That giddy feeling in my tummy. I love that feeling. I can also think of times when I've been the opposite of happy. Teary, crying, grouchy, angry. I am all one for emotion, but I definitely like the happy more than the not-happy. Don't we all?
So, does God want me to be happy? And if He does, why is it that I'm not happy sometimes, even when I know I'm being obedient?
I think about my relationships with my children. I love it when they're happy. It makes me happy to see them giggling and smiling. But am I willing to withhold simple pleasures that bring this emotion in order to bring them opportunity for growth? You betcha. Is it necessary to sometimes make my children sacrifice for someone else's good? Definitely.
I think this is also how my Father is with me. He loves seeing me happy, but He sees a much larger picture and sometimes has larger goals than my happiness. I once heard someone say that you are happy when you're in God's will. I don't know that this is true. I think it could be that God is interested in our eternal happiness and that may not coincide with our happiness here on earth.
So, I am learning to "be content in any and every situation" (Philippians 4:12) and I am looking forward to the everlasting joy that comes from being obedient and serving, rather than spend my life searching for a "happiness" that is temporary.