Joy in the Everyday

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We celebrated in June…for a lot of reasons!  Many birthdays and not just a few weddings!  And with the celebrations have come so much joy and laughter.

With the birthdays, it wasn’t necessarily in the gifts given and received; though I loved giving and they loved receiving.  Rather, it was the anticipation, the memories recalled, the new memories made of time together enjoying one another, and the recollection of God’s faithfulness in the past year and looking forward to His faithfulness, regardless of circumstances, in the year ahead.

And we celebrated many marriages lately with dear friends who were brought together with the ones with whom they have now covenanted and pledged to live out their lives!  They were times of reunions, laughter, tears, rejoicing, and, again, the focus on the faithfulness of God leading to the moment and the promise of His faithfulness in the days ahead.

Happiness, how we long for it!  Delight, how we yearn for it!  The various “delights” of life invade our many thoughts and energies and those given, ordained, and blessed by the hand of our Creator are very good.

These days have been some of those “big moments” of life; some might even call them defining moments and the happiness is palpable!

But oh the joy when we find our delight not just in the big moments of life but in the every day, the ordinary.  How precious when we find wonder in the here and now even as we may await another big event!  How freeing to bask in the pleasure of God’s everyday graces!

Ann Kiemel’s words come to mind when I think about celebrating the ordinary days which make up life as we know it and she has long energized me to think in the same way:

“And every day my mom would say, ‘Don’t you kids know, that life is made up of ordinary days when there is no one to pat you on the back?  When there is no one to praise you?  When there is no one to honor you?  When there is no one to see how brave and noble you are?  Almost all of life is made of these ordinary days. And it is how you live your ordinary days that determines whether or not you have big moments. Get out there and make something of your ordinary days.’” 

         I pray I never miss what God is doing and what He wants me to do with my ordinary days!

And I know you’ve made the lame to walk
And caused the blind to see
But what You do with my everyday is amazing!  (Everyday Miracles – Sara Groves)

(To

“I Believe; Help My Unbelief”

There have been and still are times in my life when I have had no doubt of God’s goodness and His control, but when, at the same time, my “feelings” wrestle with the truth on which I stand.

It is that paradox of Him being so very good and yet there being evil, injustice, and pain in this world – sometimes of our own making and sometimes stemming from the actions of others.

Thankfully, I am reminded in Jeremiah 17:9 that those feelings are from a deceitful heart and I can never trust that above the heart of the One who created me and who knows my needs and desires even better than I know them myself.

Indeed, I must never trust my “feelings” over what God’s Word says is true!

Unquestionably, I cannot always see the goodness of my God in the moment as He will not be put in a box nor neatly tidy up every situation in my specified time frame. For that, I give thanks because, if I could bind the God of the universe and understand every action He takes or allows, He would not be a God worthy of my all; He would be finite like me.  As it is, He is not limited and He is more than worthy of my surrender.

And, yet, this infinite God is also so personal and loves His children so deeply that, while He calls for our obedience and our submission, He also understands our frailties and tenderly comforts us in those moments of life that create fear, feel stifling, or that leave us unsteady. But He is not angered by honest questions that come from a yielded heart.

In Mark 7, when the father of the ill son asked Jesus to heal him, he said, “I believe; help my unbelief.” How faithful was that! He was acknowledging that He believed Jesus was able but also admitting his own deceitful heart that was found lacking. He meekly laid out his wavering spirit before Jesus and boldly made his request.

It is the way I am learning to pray.  While I have no doubt about who my God is and what He who created me and redeemed me is able to do, I sometimes hesitate to be bold.  I wonder if He will desire and be willing to do that which I bring before Him and, if He chooses not, whether I will humbly submit to an answer I would rather not receive.

And so I ask, believing yet confessing my unbelief, and I finish with “…but, Lord, if you have better in mind for me and mine, help me to be faithful in the waiting and the answer.” Sometimes the situation changes, but I know that, ultimately, the best answer is when He changes my heart before He changes my circumstances.

God loves the fervent and heartfelt cries of a humble heart bent towards Him. Our surrender becomes the open door for Him to surprise us with joy!

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Not for A Moment by Meredith Andrews

You were reaching through the storm
Walking on the water
Even when I could not see
In the middle of it all
When I thought You were a thousand miles away
Not for a moment did You forsake me
Not for a moment did You forsake me

Chorus:

After all You are constant
After all You are only good
After all You are sovereign
Not for a moment will You forsake me
Not for a moment will You forsake me

You were singing in the dark
Whispering Your promise
Even when I could not hear
I was held in Your arms
Carried for a thousand miles to show
Not for a moment did You forsake me

Chorus:

After all You are constant
After all You are only good
After all You are sovereign
Not for a moment will You forsake me
Not for a moment will You forsake me

And every step every breath you are there
Every tear every cry every prayer
In my heart at my worst
When my world falls down
Not for a moment will You forsake me
Even in the dark
Even when it’s hard
You will never leave me
After all

Chorus:

After all You are constant
After all You are only good
After all You are sovereign
Not for a moment will You forsake me
Not for a moment will You forsake me
Not for a moment will You forsake me