I have been looking at this picture for months trying to figure out what I am supposed to write about it. I still cannot believe I was ever that joyful. Mom used to call me “happy baby.” I was confident and joyful.
Just look at me. I didn’t have a care in the world. Looks like my belly was full and I was enjoying the sun as I played in the neighborhood pool. Heck, I might even have a gift for the pool man in my diaper.
When this picture was taken I had been greatly loved and taken care of since birth. At that time, my confidence and joy came from my Mom and Dad. My Mom was a very loving and confident woman and I was her pride and joy. She had been dreaming of having a baby for many years.
Before I was born, my Mom had 2 miscarriages and had tried for many years to have a baby. In fact, as the story goes, more than ten doctors told her she would never have a child, so when I came along it was a very special time for her. I was secure in her and my Dad’s love, fed by them both emotionally (love) and physically (food, clothing (some), shelter, and care).
Since this picture was taken in 1974, I have a struggled with confidence and joy ̶ but why?
Growing into a young man, I slowly began getting my security more from myself and less from my parents. I became more and more self-reliant and confident in myself, which is developmentally appropriate. But I also became self-centered and arrogant. My joy dwindled and my confidence declined when life happened – ridicule from others, passed up for promotions, grades falling below those of my friends, being laughed at for my speaking abilities, and on and on. I arrived into my mid-twenties angry, depressed, lonely and self-important.
I’ve been clawing my way back to the Greg Hurley of 1974 ever since.
I’m learning my confidence comes from the Lord. “For You are my hope; O Lord GOD, You are my confidence from my youth” (Psalm 71:5). My joy comes in knowing Jesus as my Lord. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4) and knowing that He will never leave me nor forsake me. “For God has said: “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5b). And God calls us “to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
God loves me so much that He sent His only son to die for my sins, (John 3:16) ̶ for my arrogance, anger and self-centeredness. “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).
In 1974, I believed wholeheartedly in my Mom and Dad and that they would give me everything I needed. And they did. I was blessed.
It’s not always easy, but in 2017 I am trying to believe wholeheartedly in my Heavenly Father that He will give me everything I need – love, food, shelter, clothing. Everything. That He will be the source of my confidence, security, and joy.
What are you doing to make sure your joy and your confidence come from the Lord?