If you’re happy and you know it …

I’m happy.

And I don’t know what to do about it. Clap my hands? Stomp my feet? Say, “Amen!”? Scratch my belly? — all options offered by the well-known children’s song or my daughter’s Elmo storybook of the same name as the song.

Frankly, I can’t remember ever being this happy, and in a way, it scares me a little.

Weird, huh? I’m afraid to be happy. But I wonder if that’s not a little bit normal. Or maybe I just hope it’s normal.

Honestly, I’m slightly suspicious of happy people — you know, the ones who are happy AND they know it AND their faces really show it. I mean, what are they so happy about anyway? Don’t they watch the news? Don’t they read the paper? Don’t they worry about ANYTHING? Do they ever get tired or cranky or snippy? Are they some kind of superhumans?

I’ve been skeptical, at best, that a person could truly, honestly be happy living in a world of so much pain, suffering and injustice.

Even as a Christian, I’ve been taught that I don’t really NEED to be happy as long as I have the joy of the Lord. Now, I wonder if that’s just an excuse to be miserable in this life yet hopeful about my eternal existence.

Happy is fleeting, I’ve heard; joy is everlasting. Happy is based on circumstances; joy on the unchangeable truths of God’s word. Maybe that’s why I’m scared to be happy — because, in that line of thinking, something could take “happy” away.

Happy people seem to have it all together, and I assume their lives are perfect. My life is far from perfect or even ideal. I wish a whole lot of things were different, but still there’s this deep down, smiling in my heart kind of feeling that won’t go away. My life isn’t perfect, but I don’t want to change it. Things may not happen the way I want them to, but I’m OK with that. Is this really what “happy” feels like?

This happiness has been a recent revelation, but I’ve still been reluctant to share it. I’m afraid people won’t believe me, especially if they know where I’ve been the past six months. But not even that is enough to contain it.

A quick search for the word “happy” in the Bible shows me this:

Psalm 68:3: But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.

Proverbs 15:13a: A happy heart makes the face cheerful.

Ecclesiastes 7:14a: When times are good, be happy.

James 5:13b: Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.

I’m not about to construct a theology of happy, but I think after reading these verses it’s safe to say that happy is OK with God.

And what to do with happy? Sing and smile, that’s a start. I guess the song’s not far off, after all.

Happy, I’m wondering where you’ve been my whole life. You’re certainly welcome to stay.

Here’s a few of my favorite “happy” songs:

“Oh Happiness” by David Crowder Band

Happy” by Ayiesha Woods

Happy” by Matthew West


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