Friday, April 3, 2009

Day of Rejoicing

“When we all get to heaven what a day of rejoicing that will be.” I am sure that most of us recognize those words from the song, “When we all get to Heaven,” lyrics by Eliza E. Hewitt, composition by Emily E. Wilson. I know that when we get to heaven there will be much rejoicing, but why until we get to heaven?

Today I had the opportunity to rejoice as I did something I have been longing to do for a very long time. I wrote this blog posting from my new laptop computer while sitting by the lake at the park. Although our weather here in southeastern Illinois has taken a turn back to more winter-like temperature and I did not get to sit at one of the picnic tables outside, I did rejoice and enjoy the beauty of nature from the interior of my van.

God has placed so much beauty before us and all too often we rush through life and never even notice. Today I got intentional about noticing. I watched as a squirrel looked for acorns that he had no doubt hidden before winter. I watched as a robin searched the leaves for a grub or worm. I watched a Canada goose swim and duck its head down below the surface of the water, and I enjoyed the tranquility of a quiet country morning. Each reason of its own to rejoice and praise His name!!

However, as I sat and took in the rich beauty of the morning my mind was led to a very dark morning; the morning that my Jesus was crucified. I began to ponder over the miracle that His life and death bring to those of us who receive Him as Savior. Were it not for His love and amazing grace, (two more wonderful praise songs) there would be no song singing about all of us getting to heaven. Thoughts along that line make me appreciate the beauty of nature that I am free to enjoy even more.

As I considered how dark this world would be if we did not have the love and grace of our Savior, my heart began to overflow with praise for the little things that I too often take for granted.

When I left the park and drove to pick my son up from school, I began naming a few of the things that I am thankful for, and as I named them, I rejoiced and praised God for His goodness. Sometimes this was done in silent reverence. Other times I shouted out “Thank You,” or “Praise His Name,” or even, “God is so good to me!” I found a CD with praise songs on it and sang along, just praising my Father and my Lord. It refreshed my soul and it was good, so good! I couldn’t help but smile as I thought about how my rejoicing in His many gifts must have brought my God a smile too.

This conscientious naming of some of the things I am thankful for and praising Him for His many blessings is a habit that I want to make a regular part of my life. So, now I’m challenging you! Will you join me and begin praising and rejoicing because of Jesus and what He has done in your life? Why should we wait until we get to heaven? If we have received Christ as our savior we are already living for eternity, and if we are living for Him; reading His word, praying and being quiet before Him so that He can speak to us, we even get glimpses of Him from time to time. So, as for me, I’m going to be rejoicing more and shouting the victory over the everyday wonderful blessings that God has so richly bestowed upon me. Are you coming along?