Rejoice always. (1 Thess.5:16)
I must make a confession: I do not like yard work. I do not have a knack for it. I know many who enjoy it and thrive at it, but I am not among that number. If you had told me some 18 months ago that someone would take care of my yard-work for me, I would have been ecstatic. Evidently that would mean that I had come into some money so that I could afford to hire someone to take care of this for me. Little did I know that my parents, my brethren, and my neighbors would all pitch in to manicure my lawn because I would not be able to do so. Today, the boys and I worked in the yard for many hours. While I am a little slower and less capable of doing what I once could, I still felt like we managed to accomplish quite a bit. I actually enjoyed today. Now, it was not something that made me giddy with excitement or made me lose sleep in anticipation of it. But it did bring joy to my soul. I know it may sound silly, but I was glad to be able to do my own yard-work. It was one of life’s many mundane things that I had been taking for granted. God encourages us to rejoice always. This may sound far-fetched or even impossible, but it is commanded of us. That tells me that rejoicing is a choice I make, not a circumstance to experience. I can rejoice when I have that dreaded doctor’s appointment, for it means I have good medical care. I can rejoice when the bills come due, because those bills represent a food over my head, food in mt refrigerator, and heat for those cold nights. I can rejoice when the floor has to be swept, because that means that many feet have found security and sanctuary in my home. And, yes, I can even rejoice when the yard needs my attention, for it means I have been blessed with health and strength. Let’s find a reason to rejoice in everything, even the seemingly mundane.
“Father, thank you for giving us so many reasons to rejoice, the greatest of which is the assurance of eternal salvation through Jesus. Help us to see the good in every person and every situation of life. Help us to rejoice even when it seems there is not much to rejoice about. Help us to look for you in every aspect of our lives. Father, we know where you are, there is joy. Help us to rejoice always so that others will want to know joy. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”