This is the day that the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)
“Rejoice and be glad.” When you wake in the morning, do you rejoice? Are you glad? This morning I woke and opened my bedroom window. I pulled up a chair and read my morning devotion and then just sat and looked out at the green of summer, listening to the birds singing, feeling a gentle breeze. It was so nice to feel the natural air and not have every window shut so the air conditioner can do it’s job. Don’t get me wrong, I am quite thankful for air conditioning, but was very glad for a cool summer morning!
It’s easy to rejoice and be glad in mornings like this one. But the Psalmist seems to be proclaiming something deeper and beyond those easy summer mornings when you feel like getting out of bed and the sun is shining and the temperature is perfect.
It’s a lot harder to rejoice and be glad when our bodies hurt and feel broken or when the rain is pouring and has been for days. It is more difficult to be glad when it’s freezing outside, and inside as well; when you feel you can’t get warm and comfortable. It’s nearly impossible to rejoice and be glad when you are in grief for whatever loss you have experienced.
And what about the many people who wake up after a night of sleeping on the street or in a homeless shelter; what about those who are in third world countries with disease and hunger pains and oppression; with poverty as their constant companion?
When I visited Costa Rica and Mexico I met some amazing people. Most of them lived in very small, modest houses. A few (in Mexico) were in a house with 3 walls (1 side was open), with dirt floors and no running water.
Yet, my observation of most all of the people I met was that, regardless of their situation in life, they were full of the joy of the Lord. They knew how to praise God every day. There was a warmth and an eagerness to give whatever they could and whatever they had in joyful generosity.
One Christmas, in Nashville, Fred, Annie and I served a Christmas dinner to a group of homeless men. We were so blessed by them and their joyful attitude about it being Christmas. We were greeted by many with “Merry Christmas! Thank you for being here with us!”
When I think of people like that, I give thanks and then I ask God to clean me up, give me a right spirit and help me to rejoice and be glad for every day, no matter what it looks like. Because this is the day the Lord has made. If God has made all my days, then God surely is in every one of them with me.
That is great reason for rejoicing and being glad!
I am a woman with many interests, yet most of them flow into what is my source of life, my very breath, the reason I do what I do. I am Called. That means, for me, I have experienced a call on my life to serve as a pastor to God’s people. In that calling I love to write, to speak, to lead, and to teach. My deepest desire is to pass on to others what I have experienced in my own journey of grace. I am human, and in that humanity I have known passion and joy, sin and disgrace. Yet, in God’s love I have known nothing but love and redirection and total grace.