Friday, February 5, 2016

WHO MADE YOUR DAY? by Kathy Jones

Psalms 118:24  This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
    This wonderful scripture has been read, memorized, used in sermons, printed on pictures and posters and even tattooed on bodies.
     This may be one of the most well-known scriptures, but like anything we see and hear many times, we can become desensitized to its truth.
   A few Sundays ago I got up early to prepare potluck food and go over my class study material that I teach and reread the sermon I was assigned.  On my way to church I picked up two four old twins and their six year old brother. When I got to church, I put my potluck food away, tried to keep track of the twins, arranged the chairs for class, then went into the sanctuary to set up the worship center and lay out my sermon materials on the pulpit.
   Class went well, the kids found their class, the worship hour was blessed, the potluck delicious. Then, there were dishes to be done and potluck to clean up, after which I was asked to give an administration. I found someone to watch the children and taking a deep breath, tuned my heart away from the busyness of the day and focused on the person in front of me, asking God for help with a serious health concern. 
    By the time I was heading out of town for the 45 minute drive home, I was exhausted.  The day was gone. Time to read the paper, fix dinner and get to bed.
    In the busyness of the day, I forgot to rejoice and be glad that I had another day God made for me. I lost track of rejoicing and filled my day with a hurried pace.
   My husband and I were recently in charge of a funeral service for a young man who passed away suddenly at age 25. He was an only child. The funeral was held at a large church in our community and there were about 500 people in attendance.
While there were tears, laughter at stories told by his friends, and hugs all around, the entire audience was brought to the realization that each day we have is precious.
   One of our elderly ladies at church walked through the doors, dressed in her Sunday best, and smiling. When I asked how she was, she replied, “Well, this is the day the Lord has made, and I am alive and I can come to church.”  She was embracing the gift of having another day to tell her family how much she loved them and to share in worship with a church family she knew well.
   When we feel the joyful contentment of life, we are living the scripture in Psalms 118 and not only do we laugh louder, feel more healthy and let our positive energy affect others, but we rejoice because the day God gave us is a blessing.
  Sometimes it is hard to celebrate when life seems to bring us challenges. Some challenges are life altering and we can’t rejoice for the day.  Dark clouds close in on us. Our hearts are broken. Our spirits weak.
    I have a sign on my wall which reads: “When you can’t see God’s hands, trust His heart.”  God lives in all our days – not just the happy moments, but the difficult ones as well.
   Psalm 56:8 “You keep track of all my sorrows; you have collected all my tears in your bottle.”  I love this scripture because it is one of many which reassure us that God knows us personally.
   Trust God’s heart.  Trust that the day will come when you will rejoice and be glad again.
   Have you ever had times when you realize for a single moment, life is good?  It may be a family gathering, or coffee with a friend, or a day where all the pieces fit together.  I think about sitting at campfire during Samish Island Reunion, with the sunset blazing orange and yellows and the water reflecting its glow. We laugh at the skits and sing of God’s love. In that one instant, whatever is going on back home or in the world, it is a single moment of how good life is.
    We have a lot of blessed moments but unless we stop and rejoice in their existence, we miss them. If we rise each day with a personal focus on the good things around us, we will find ourselves rejoicing for the day God gave us.  Other days may come and go which are not so perfect, but in the midst of every day, God sends us drops of joy.
    The stranger who opens the door for you when your arms are full of groceries, the sound of children’s laughter as you walk by the school, the song on the radio which reminds you of a happy event, a phone call from a friend, the hug from your child or grandchild, the beauty of snow on the mountains. Drops of joy are all around us.  Can you see, feel, smell, taste, and hear them?
     “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” I pray you will find the blessings in each day.