My son turned to me with a wide-eyed, shocked grin on his face as he recognized a surprising twist in the story he was reading. Just seeing him make that connection and seeing his sweet smile filled my heart with joy and gratitude. The moment was so small, yet so significant in my day. I was caught off guard that I noticed it, and it reminded me that I had been missing the little things.
Our world is filled with the constant reminders of death, disease, and political disaster. Many of us are on edge, anticipating what might come next. When we focus on the storms surrounding us, we sometimes forget to see the beauty in front of us. If there is one thing that I have learned recently, it is that control does not equal joy. Even though we are not in control of what is happening in the world right now, we are not deprived of joy, though we may miss it. The lack of control may cause us a lot of anxiety, but we cannot let that steal our joy in our daily moments. Psalm 94:19 says, “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” God is in control and can console us in our anxiety. We are connected to the one who holds it all in His hands so we can cease striving and see the work of His hands in little joys all around us.
What would our days look like if we focused on the small joyful moments instead of what is beyond our control? Take notice of the little things like the sunrise peeking over the mountain top, your kids singing loudly and off-key, or when your spouse starts your car on these cold winter days. Praise Him for it all. Fill your thoughts with your daily blessings. Paul says in Phillipians 4:8, “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable- if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy- dwell on these things.” Find moments in your day that are praiseworthy and give God the glory. A shift in our thinking will bring us great joy in Jesus and light to those around us.

Written by Christina Painter