There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice. (John Calvin) Too often we almost pass by tremendous things of beauty and never even consider they were put there for our enjoyment! I stop to watch the inch worm make his way from one leaf to another. I observe the slowness and tenacity of the small snail in the garden. I notice the fragility of the opening bud on the hibiscus bush knowing full-well it will be short-lived, but cast such a brightness into the garden. I watch as the leaves slowly descend to the ground on a hot summer's day. These were meant for our enjoyment, not just a casual glance now and again!
This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be happy today! (Psalm 118:24)
This morning I wish to ask a question: "What have you only casually observed this week?" This is a tough question to answer with all honesty, but I believe it is a necessary one! It could be the very thing you have 'casually observed' this week is yourself, or that person right across the room from you right now. I see us all fall into this trap from time to time - looking but not really seeing; hearing but not really listening; thinking but not really considering. If God made all things for us to enjoy - even the hairy spider trapped in between the window screen and glass - then why do we miss so much of it? It could be we are just to absorbed in other things to rejoice in their beauty and purpose! All things and people were created for a purpose - regardless of how 'ugly' they may appear!
We might miss what our psalmist is telling us if we aren't careful. His words are not just mere advice to us - they are a remedy to our not listening, considering, and seeing! We spend so much time focusing on 'getting happy' that we forget it isn't something we achieve - it is a result of us taking time to rejoice! Rejoice first - happiness will follow! Look at the 'order' in which he presents the topic: 'This day', 'Rejoice', and 'Be happy'. First we get the day into focus - we don't let it get away from us. We bring it into focus and then we rejoice in it! That very action of focusing and rejoicing will result in the best thing every - we get 'happy' in it. We may not look forward to everything ahead of us - like considering how to remove that hairy spider from the predicament he finds himself in - but when we take time to notice what he has made and then rejoice in it, we find well-springs of happiness that soon fill our souls.
Why is it our hair kind of stands on end and we get a little shiver up our back as we take notice of that hairy wolf spider trapped in the window? Maybe the response of our body is even a thing of beauty we should be rejoicing in - because God made us with those responses to danger as equally as he made us with those responses we observe with the things that bring us immediate delight! Even the 'ugly things' in life have a way of causing us to rejoice - for God created those warning responses to help keep us safe and secure. He reminds us there are always going to be 'ugly things' attempting to find an inroad into our life, but he also reminds us he has made a way for us to escape - making the rejoicing all that much better! So....rejoice! Just sayin!