Everyone wants to be happy. Our desire to be happy is not a bad thing at all. God created us to experience happiness. The garden God created for Adam and Eve was called “Eden”, which literally means “pleasure” and “happiness”. God wanted them to be happy. And the way they found happiness was through intimate relationship with God. Everything else was an icing on the cake.
However, after Adam and Eve sinned, everything changed. Since their intimate relationship with God was broken, they were left with emptiness they did not experience before. God was still available for people, and yet they began to pursue happiness outside of God. Since then, we humans have been trying to find happiness in what we can see and possess. And yet, what we see is a high level of unhappiness around us and in us. This is because we delay our experience of happiness by saying “only if I have ( ), I will be happy”.
The story of a man named “Nick Vujicic” sheds a brand-new light on our idea of happiness. He was born with a rare disorder called “phocomelia”, characterized by the absence of legs and arms. Of course, he struggled enormously as he was growing up. He was often bullied at school. At the age of 10, he attempted to commit suicide because he didn’t think there was hope for his life. He blamed God for not giving him arms and legs. Imagine how unfair life must’ve felt like to him. If his life happiness was based on having full arms and legs, he would have no hope of ever being happy.
But when he met Jesus at age 15, his life turned around. He finally came to terms with his disability and began to focus on things he already had in Jesus. He realized the eternal life and hope of resurrection was enough reason to live happily on this earth. Now he is an international evangelist and motivational speaker, bringing hope globally to so many people through his ministry “Life without Limbs”.
When we look at what we don’t have, we end up comparing ourselves to others who do, undermining our happiness. But when we focus on what we have in Jesus, we begin to find reasons to celebrate the life we already have, instead of dreaming of the life we don’t have yet.