Sunday, September 1, 2013

PB + Nutella Cheesecake -----------Fearing Joy

The Food Stuffs:


Make space in your freezer or fridge, that's it! This one is easy!


-1/2 Cup Nutella (A chocolate hazelnut spread)
-1/2 Cup Peanut Butter (Creamy!)
-8 Ounces Cream Cheese
-1/2 Tsp Vanilla
-8 Ounces Cool Whip
-1 Oreo Pie Crust
-Crushed Pretzels and Bits of Dark Chocolate


1. Add nutella and cream cheese to a bowl. Cream together until thoroughly combined. 
2. Add peanut butter and vanilla to mixture. Cream again until well combined.
3. Fold in the cool whip until all ingredients are mixed and cannot be distinguished apart from each other. 
4. Smooth into pie crust.
5. Shave dark chocolate over the cheesecake and then sprinkle with crushed pretzels and chunks of remaining chocolate.
6. Freeze at least two hours or refrigerate at least four hours. 


Thoughts on Fearing Joy

(Ironically, this recipe makes my mouth very happy, but I'm writing about fearing joy. Anyway....)

"Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice!" -Philippians 4:4

Sometimes I fear joy. It might be more accurate to say that I fear what comes after joy, but that doesn't exist unless the happy part comes first. I find myself avoiding really feeling joyful sometimes because I don't want the part that I'm sure will come when the joy goes away. And it always goes away eventually.

Admittedly, I'm not the best at being happy to begin with. Contented, satisfied, peaceful, friendly, easy-going...I can put those on and wear them around for days. But simply, truly joyful? That requires a lot that I'm not comfortable with.

But isn't it silly to be scared of such a good thing, of a thing that the Lord even desires for us? If He is to be our joy, then this seems especially ridiculous. I think I love the Lord. At very least I believe that I want to. There are plenty of great things that I love that the Lord "is." The Lord as my hope is very comforting. The Lord as my refuge has been proven over and over in my life. The Lord as my joy...I'm afraid to believe that.

Joy ends. Joy requires, in my life, that I put aside a ton of things I like to keep close. You can't be joyful when worry, insecurity, a need to please others, risk, heavy responsibility, and a myriad of other things are tying you down. But then again, those other emotions that I (at least) do not fear can hardly really occur when I'm clinging to such things. What is it about joy that causes it to stand out as scary?

I'm not sure what to say or to think. I don't think I'll have any conclusion at all right now. It's a mystery to me.

My best guess is that joy is unique because it is so steadfastly based in the present. When I consider the Lord as my hope, I can tell myself I just have to wait for what He will do next. If I think of the Lord as my refuge, I usually have an example in mind that comforts me, and it usually comes from the past. I like the Lord future and I like the Lord past. I don't like the feeling of the present.

The present is still happening. It is immediate, it is out of my control so far as how I think of it and the insight I have about it. In the present, my emotions are hard to avoid and harder to analyze and control. I tend to feel pressured when I am "in the present." So joy isn't an option. That would require trusting God to fill me up and work in me right now.

And what if He doesn't? What if He comes just for this moment and never again? I want Christ in the beginning and the end of my thinking and my living. But to have Him right now, ruling over me....imperfect, struggling me...that requires a sort of abandon I'm not comfortable with. And joy in the Lord does too.

Unfortunately, I'm sure there is even more to it than that. Lord, remove me from my own way.

No comments:

Post a Comment