When I look back at my life, any regrets I have now are about not allowing myself to more fully enjoy the time I was in, and the relationships I had. The key to take from that revelation is to not waste more time in self-pity or self-condemnation, but to be grateful for where I am now—loving, appreciating, and enjoying everyone in my life, and embracing today’s journey with Jesus no matter where it leads.
One of my favorite parts of Hannah Hurnard’s classic allegory, “Hind’s Feet On High Places” is her description of the main character’s discovery of “acceptance with joy.” Acceptance with joy isn’t settling or quitting, it’s embracing where you are in your journey with God, and letting him lead you on the adventure of your life. It’s choosing to stop resenting your circumstances, and instead, blessing them and embracing the opportunities they bring. Acceptance with joy is living so fully in God’s love, peace, and joy, you confidently overflow them to everyone you meet.
Accept God’s gift to you of acceptance with joy. Let him begin by redefining how you see and experience joy itself. Joy is not your rare happy reaction to occasionally good circumstances. Joy is your unceasing positive state in Christ that you bring into all your circumstances. I’m praying this Christmas brings you the greatest acceptance with joy to the world you’ve ever known.