“This is the day the Lord has made; rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24).” A friend of mine gave me a coffee mug as a gift with this scripture on it. Bright colors of orange and red and green give it a cheerful appearance. Imprinted on the outside is a picture of a girl with her head tilted back, a smile across her face, and her arms stretched towards the sky— a picture of pure joy. She gets it. Sitting next to her, her dog has his head lifted up, his mouth oval shaped as if howling a joyful noise. He gets it too. But do we?
Through this scripture the Lord is telling us that we should experience joy in each day. Not someday—when we have more time, or perhaps now and then—when everything goes right, but this day that the Lord has made. While we have our memories of yesterdays and our hopes for the future, all that we really have is today.
What about those days when encountering joy seems almost impossible? Perhaps it is during times like these that we need to remember this scripture most of all. Helen Keller entered a dark and silent world after falling ill while only nineteen months of age. Having overcome tremendous challenges in her life, I am inspired by her words, “keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.”
Make time for joy today. Put it on the top of your list of things to do. Find joy in God’s creation. This is not difficult for me today as I take my lunch outside on a beautiful spring day. Closing my eyes I take in my surroundings. I hear the tranquil sound of water splashing from a nearby fountain. A gentle breeze allows the leaves to sing its song and a wind chime to play its delicate tune. A pair of doves nearby call out to one another in reverberating tones. Together these sounds produce a soothing composition of nature.
Peeling away the layers of a tangerine, its skin releases a fine fragrant mist. I breathe in the scent and allow it to delight my senses. Inside it is bursting with color, a vibrant orange. As I take a bite the juices drip down onto my shirt. I have to lean over to let the juices spill onto the ground (let the ants rejoice!). It’s incredibly sweet. A miracle in itself.
I could go on; there is so much more I could say. There are countless opportunities to experience the beauty of God’s creation. It is all around us. Let us not get so wrapped up in the busyness of our lives that we miss out on the many wonders of each day. Life is a gift. Those who have survived a close call with death will often begin to discover joy in life’s minute detail. They get it! God made this day for each of us. Let us take the time to give praise and find joy in his works of art.
Our life is but a collection of our days. At the end of my life I want to be able to look back and remember the day I stood with my head lifted up towards the sky and my hands reaching toward heaven rejoicing in that beautiful spring day that the Lord had made.
Ah Jen, yes ... you've caught both Jan's eye and mine. This was a delight, and most definitely very well placed in the encouragement category. I would really love to use this in the June issue of FaithWriters' Magazine (www.faithwritersmagazine.com), in our "Take it to Heart" section. Could send me a private message to let me know if that would be okay with you, together with a short bio note (see bio notes under each article in the latest issue for ideas of what to write, if you aren't sure). I hope you'll give us permission to showcase your article in this way. Look forward to hearing from you. With love, Deb (Editor, FaithWriters' Magazine and Challenge Coordinator)
Jen, this is great! I really liked "let the ants rejoice." I'm not a cheerful person by nature--I have to work at "getting it." If I had something like this to read every morning, I think it'd be easier for me.
I've got no criticism whoatsoever, content-wise or writing-wise. This is a first-rate piece of writing, and I look forward to reading more of your writings in the future here at FW. I pick the "Showcase" articles that are featured every week on the home page. I've got your name on my list of people to watch out for. Keep those submissions coming!