I Just Wanna Be Happy
Happiness isn't what you think. You can't find it by your own might, buy it, or give it away. It's not in lottery winnings or in the treasure jar you buried in your back yard. It's not in the fountain of youth or a jar of retinol. It's not measured by pay check, success stories, or well-behaved children.
Happiness has absolutely nothing to do with circumstance. You have no control over it whatsoever. Happiness is a gift, and it comes from God and God alone. It is far deeper than the smile on your beautiful face. Further, happiness might visit you when you least expect it--in a moment of despair or on a bed of death.
Okay, this is way too deep, you're thinking. So how about we consider some Spanish grammar instead?!
In Spanish there is a particular verb (estar) used with adjectives to denote condition or feeling: to feel sad, content, frustrated, bored, etc. Its counterpart verb (ser) is also used with adjectives to denote inherent qualities and personal characteristics or natures: to be tall, short, fat, skinny, intelligent, dumb, kind, mean, etc. Both verbs translate to the high frequency English verbs am, is, are.
Can you ESTAR happy? Nope. Can you SER happy? Yes, but this action is strictly reserved for God to accomplish within you. Though I might say and do many things to make you and myself ESTAR content, there is literally nothing I can say or do to make you or myself SER happy. I simply don't have the power to do so.
Consider the adjectives content and happy. In Spanish they are NOT synonymous. Contentment goes with estar and is viewed as a conditional emotive state, whereas happy goes with ser and represents an inherent quality of being or existence. Contentment is fluid, while happiness is static.
Stay with me here. I might feel quite discontented when I see I have a flat tire, but this situational state of discontentment does not affect my inner and core quality of happiness. Your world may be externally chaotic, but you can still maintain an inner sense of peace. (Just consider my grandmother who lost six of her ten children to death during her lifetime, yet her faith in God never wavered.)
Ser is the verb of existence. Happiness may or may not exist in you. Do you remember when God commissioned Moses to return to Egypt to liberate the Hebrew children? From Exodus 3:13-14 we read, "Then Moses said to God, 'Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you.' Now they may say to me, 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" In other words, God said to tell the Israelites that I EXIST is the name of the One who sent Moses. What is the tense or the time of the action here: present tense.
Of the two verbs in Spanish, ser is the linking verb. The job of a linking verb is to link the subject of the sentence to the noun that follows the verb, i.e., I am a teacher or You are a doctor. I=teacher; you=doctor. The predicate nominatives (teacher, doctor) define or rename the subjects (I, you). We can again substitute the verb exist for the verb: I exist as a teacher; you exist as a doctor.
Think about a few of Jesus' I AM declarations: I am the bread of life (Jn. 6:25); the Light of the world (Jn. 8:12); the resurrection and the life (Jn. 11:25); the true vine (Jn. 15:1); the Alpha and the Omega (Rev. 1:8); and the root and the descendent of David, the bright morning star (Rev. 22:16). The Greek verb of these declarations is again the verb of existence with the added element of present tense (or presence).
Are you still hanging with me on this grammatical expedition of sorts? Good! Because here is the point: Stop looking for happiness in what may only deliver contentment. Do you really desire eternal happiness? Bow your knee and seek God and God alone. He will surely bless you with this Gift. All the contentment in the world is only child's play. Perhaps it's time for us to grow up.
How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news,
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