This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. —Psalm 118:24 ESV
It was the first Monday of our internet-free vacation. My husband, Ray, and I had been given the use of a friend’s lake house! The first morning with happy anticipation, I brought my tea and my Bible out to her open-air patio and sat in a comfortable, hanging swing happily gazing at the lake across the way. Finally! School was out for my teacher-husband, and we were away, just the two of us, without computers. As I sat peacefully savoring the quiet, I noticed two little sparrows flying back and forth beyond the patio. “So cute!” I thought. “This is the day the LORD has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it,” I whispered to the wind as I admired the birds so close to me and apparently unafraid.
However … as the minutes went on, it became pretty clear to me that these two sparrows were not in a rejoicing mood. They stared at me. They shifted their weight and didn’t move from their positions. They glared. Really. Who knew a sparrow could glare? One of them flew into the patio under the trellis roof and then quickly flew out again. I was starting to feel … less tranquil. Finally, I looked up and, sure enough, in the rafters of the trellis was a nest. Ahhh. These were not cute, happy sparrows. These were angry birds! I was preventing them from caring for their eggs. Reluctantly, I gave up my beautiful swing and went inside to find another place to have my quiet time. Sure enough, about ten minutes later, mama bird was back on her nest with papa bird close by.
Two angry birds had quite effectively vanquished me from the best “seat in the house.” This was not the way I had planned my morning. So much for my relaxing time in the swing by the lake. Just like that, I was not finding it easy to “rejoice and be glad.” Little things can irritate us unreasonably, can’t they? Not to mention the big things that trouble us … like world events, family and friends suffering from various physical and emotional pain and hurts. We can find a million reasons, large and small, to justify in our minds a day without rejoicing.
Oh, but dear one, each day is a gift. This day—the day I am writing this, the day you are reading this—this day was made by the Lord. The mere fact that God has given us another day is a matter for rejoicing. Another day means He has more work for us to do. More lessons to be learned. More people who need to see His love through us. More opportunities for us to lean hard on Him and rediscover that His strength is enough. If the Lord has made it … we need to rejoice in it!
So, my goal for that week changed. I determined to look for reasons to rejoice. Watching the way those two tiny sparrows tenaciously kept “at” me until I left “their” territory was astounding. Peeking at that mama bird on the nest day after day during our stay at the lake house brought me such joy! I loved her faithfulness. What began as an annoyance ended up being one of my sweetest memories. Psalm 118 is a great thanksgiving psalm that speaks to this exact theme. In verse 5, the psalmist is in anguish and by verse 13 about to fall. He has been chastened almost to death in verse 18. And yet. He finds reason after reason to rejoice.
Oh, Father, like that mama bird, no matter how distressed we are by circumstances beyond our control help us to be faithful in our devotion to You. Help us to see You in the midst of hard things, big and small, and to value each precious day of life that You give us here on earth! Help us to receive from Your hand each new day as it dawns and show us the little things to marvel at as we walk with You on the path marked out for us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
You are loved,
Sweet Selah Ministries
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