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Happy. H-A-double P-Y. Why? Because God gave me this little, funny, juvenile, freeing word. He made it personal…intimate…restorative…It makes me smile. It makes me feel like singing – something joyful or silly. It conjures up images of Kindergartners finger painting with delight and abandonment. They aren’t worrying about the mess or striving for perfection. They are simply living in the moment.

Somewhere along the way, I lost that childlike innocence. I “accepted” that my life was always going to be…well…hard, a series of unfortunate events filled with more tears than laughter. I felt old and burdened, and undeserving of happiness. I would be faithful, stay the course, and endure!

A couple of years ago, our Bible study group did a study that required a lot of self-reflection on our past. One morning, as I sat alone at home with my book, I laid it all (again) before the Lord – the pain, the fears, the discouragement, the disappointments…I also boldly asked God to speak to me clearly, like He seemed to with the author…if not today, then one day. And as I prayed, I was struck by an overwhelming need to play my piano. It seemed strange, but I decided that even if this wasn’t from God, it wouldn’t hurt anything either.

So I headed to the piano, planning to play one song, but singing another. So I dug out the other song and started to play and sing. Halfway through the first verse, I heard someone say, “stop and read that again”. Not even thinking, I stopped and read the line again…

“Happy are they who will stay in Your city, and be near the Living God. I want, above all else, to follow Your footsteps and seek only Thy perfect way”.

It was one of those rare moments – God’s presence was strong, I held my breath. And then I wept. It affirmed what I already knew to be true, that happiness and joy don’t have anything to do with circumstances, people, power, positions, or possessions. My growing, deep desire to walk closely with God, to be wholly His = happy. “But all who are hunting for you— oh, let them sing and be happy! (MSG*)” –Ps. 40:16a And I have spent the last two years growing young and letting myself be happy.

          Happy                                                   HAPPY                         H-A-double P-Y!

*The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson