Today’s blog by Yvonne
Disney World claims to be the “Happiest Place on Earth, ” and I don’t think too many people would disagree with their proclamation. I love Disney World. Standing in the parks makes me feel like a child once again. Ears firmly attached to my head, I run between attractions and giggle like a school girl as I wait to see Mickey Mouse. I am not alone in these feelings as I watch hundreds of other adults descend back into their childhoods. Laughter fills the air around me and smiles stretch from one ear to the other. Disney is a magical place.
Sadness and heartache darken the souls across our world and Disney World is not immune to some of these problems. I remember bouncing around Epcot one day recently when my cell phone rang unexpectedly. The hospital, where my mother was recouping from an infection, called to inform me her condition was deteriorating quickly. Hospice was needed and the outlook bleak. I stood by the Mexican area of Epcot and cried. Not gentle tears, but sobs of anguish that flowed in torrents down my cheeks. My heart, torn asunder, as a thousand miles separated me from my mom’s bedside. Disney World was no longer the happiest place on earth for me, and they could do nothing to change my circumstances at that moment.
Happiness does not last. Happiness is a fleeting emotion, one that is blown by the winds of turmoil. Even though I believe Disney is one of the happiest places, my experience with my mom showed me that even their signature happiness is temporary. Before you sink into despair under the weight of the world’s problems, know there is hope for something better.
Joy, for a Christian heart, provides a different feeling than happiness. A definition of joy from John Piper states “Christian joy is a feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, as he causes us to see the beauty of Christ in the word and in the world.” We can experience this feeling even in the midst of an emotional breakdown in the middle of Epcot. My mom knew Jesus as her savior, so my joy during the pain came from knowing I will see her again one day. The joy feeling resides deep and overcomes any other emotions from the world. The joy Christ plants within us is never temporary like the happiness of Disney.
Where does this joy come from in our troubled world? The joy comes from the knowledge and fellowship of Jesus. When we know Jesus on a personal level, we know His joy. No matter what happens to us, the joy remains. We still cry and experience sadness in our lives, but Christ provides a hope for better things to come. Even if we struggle with pain or heartache throughout our entire life, we know that in the end, we will spend eternity with our Lord and Savior. I would even go so far as to proclaim that Heaven will be the happiest place in the universe. The joy planted in our hearts prepares us for the joy that will last for all eternity with Jesus and all the saints who have gone before us.
Yvonne, author and blogger.
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”