I found myself laughing when I shouldn’t have. The comic strip wasn’t all that funny, but my day had been pretty boring up until that point, so the little dog pretending to line up a putt on the famous Augusta golf course just seemed hilarious. Did a dog purchase his golf clubs at a pro shop or a pet shop? What kind of caddy does a dog use? And who would make the tiny green jacket should the canine win?

World_Famous_Golf_ProThe beagle didn’t land his putt, but it didn’t matter. The platitude: Laughter is the Best Medicine swirling in my mind seemed so apropos. As I imagined the answers to my silly questions, I realized often I take myself too seriously.

God’s grace is an amazing thing and very often instead of giving myself grace, I get caught up in a lecture. You know the type: How I’m not good enough. How I didn’t try enough. How I’m just plain not enough. That little dog had so much swagger taking on those at the top of the leader board at the invitation only tournament. Still amused, remembering the missed putt, I was determined to dare to dream big like that modest pooch.

It wasn’t boastfulness. Like most of you, my inner critics don’t whisper; they scream. “You aren’t beautiful. Your creativity is in sore need of help. You’ll never be successful.” But on that day, my laughter was God’s way of telling me, “Dare to put the seriousness aside. Dare to see yourself as Beloved. Dare to be brilliant – just seek Me in everything.”

God can do so much more than me, so I’m working on stopping during the day and giving whatever I am doing over to Him. To stop the work of my hands, bow in prayer and lay it in His hands. Of fighting back those internal critics with the understanding God doesn’t expect me to be perfect, He just wants me.

No one gets out of life unscathed. Maybe you find yourself contending with depression, which keeps yanking you down. Maybe the sense of not being enough holds you in place. Maybe, like me, the shadows of insecurity keep you from rising above your circumstances.

The relentless tug of war can only stop in the midst of the joy found in God; the One who is with us and for us. When it comes to these fights in our lives, we need joy to be our constant companion, so we can dare to live big. We can dare to live by faith. We can dare to live in a world where we don’t have the answers and never will. We can do all this because the battles of life, both internal and external, have already been won through Christ.

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