Yesterday at Mom Matters, our church's mom's group, we talked about joy. Our speaker, Amy Dmyterko, talked about all of the reasons we have to be joyful, including knowing we have hope in Jesus and knowing that Jesus conquers in the end. But the thing she said that struck me the most was about wolves.
You see, we're struggling with joy around here. I have a daughter who almost always wants to look on the bad side of the things. She's a woe-is-me kind of girl. If something goes wrong, she takes the worst possible view of things. And it's getting old and wearing on my nerves.
Yesterday afternoon, she came home from school disappointed. She had a legitimate reason for her disappointment, but it went from disappointment to frustration to anger pretty quickly. So, as she sat brooding in her room, I decided to share the story of the wolves with her.
Joy is a choice. We can choose to believe what God says in Romans 8:28 is true: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Or we can choose to believe that it's not. Our joy comes from choosing to believe that verse and others about how much God loves us are true.
It's like there are two wolves. One wolf is disappointed, bitter and angry. The other wolf is peaceful, joyful and able to see beyond his current circumstances. We have enough food to feed one wolf. Which one are you going to feed?
This is a great illustration to use with our kids to get them thinking about choosing joy. It takes something abstract and creates a very concrete picture. And it drives home the point that we get to choose how we react to things.
Start asking your kids which wolf they are feeding and reminding them that joy is a choice.