By Ron Strickland, Lt. Colonel
I recently spent 12 hours at the “Happiest Place on Earth.” At least, that is what the folks at Disneyland have been advertising for the past 56 years. However, I’m sure that some people would be quick to disagree with this statement by our friends at Disneyland.
Nonetheless, I must admit that Pam and I had happy moments with our grandchildren, Caleb and Liberty, while visiting Disneyland. To see the sheer joy and excitement on their faces gave us a sense of happiness for the moment. Plus, we were building precious memories that will become priceless for a lifetime. Our grandchildren are truly a special gift and blessing from God.
When I first heard Disney’s claim to be the Happiest Place on Earth, it caused me to consider, what does it mean to be happy or experience happiness? What does this word “happy” really mean?
I went to our old friend, Mr. Daniel Webster, to find the answer. He defines “happy” as: (1) favored by circumstances, lucky, fortunate; (2) having, showing, or causing a feeling of great pleasure, contentment, joy, etc; joyous glad, pleased; (3) exactly appropriate to the occasion; suitable and clever. While more definitions could be given, I believe we all get the meaning.
If this is the earthly definition for “happy,” what would be the heavenly definition? When looking at Scriptures for “happy,” the following verses come to mind:
Happy are the people whose God is the Lord (Ps. 144:15b).
And whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he (Prov. 16:20b).
Wow! Heavenly happiness is synonymous with God being our Lord and our trust in the Lord. These Scriptures confirm that happiness from God’s perspective is eternal and not temporal, as it is with the secular definition of happiness. God’s happiness is not determined by worldly circumstances, but rather with the eternal reality that we are his people and we trust in him. God’s definition of happiness is not a fleeting happiness as is that of earthly happiness, but an abiding happiness no matter what the circumstances of life may be.
As for my family and me, we choose God’s happiness over any earthly happiness. The truth of the matter is that Disney’s statement that they have “The Happiest Place on Earth” is nothing compared to the eternal happiness that we, his children, can enjoy both on earth and for eternity. So, brothers and sisters in Christ, be happy in the Lord.