Devotion for Thursday, April 23
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Philippians 4: 4-6
Has it occurred to you that, especially during this "lockdown", our spirits seem to be so much more uplifted on bright, warm, sunny days than they are on overcast, chilly, dreary days? Today (which happens to be Tuesday) is one of those overcast, rainy, dreary days - the kind of day when I would normally be very happy to hunker down a bit more than unusual, work on sermon prep, listen to some soft music, make a few phone calls, perhaps take a quick power-nap, write a devotional - yes, it's just one of those days!
The only difference is, of course, that one day just seems to be running into the other for these last weeks. Staying-at-home day is nothing out of the ordinary. It's just one more day in a long series of days, trying to keep busy and fruitful, but sometimes not having much success. And the tediousness of it all can often feel exhausting.
In my opinion, the only effective way to change all of that is to tie a string around our finger or find some other way to remind ourselves to give God the praise and glory regardless of our circumstances - to find some reason to give thanks and be filled with joy; to focus on what's good and right rather than on what's dreary and tiring. Because there is a ray of sunshine even on the gloomiest day, if only we'll take the time to seek it out.
Paul says to "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" We have to remember that, in God's eyes, there are no dreary days - cloudy, chilly, rainy days are just as life-giving as warm, sunny days. We just need to open our eyes and see with God's eyes.
So ... today IS a good day, regardless of our circumstances. This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Let us pray: Lord, today we ask that you would help us to open our eyes to your goodness. Help us to see your presence all around us and then to find a way to pass that joy on to someone else. Amen.