Rejoice in the Lord always; I will say it again, rejoice! Philippians 4:4
Yesterday marked the beginning of the third week of Advent. The candle is pink and the word is “rejoice”. It may all leave us wondering; rejoice in what? It’s the nuttiest time of year; it’s getting colder, the shopping list is long, the event calendar is bursting at the seams and half the people I know have a cold or the flu.
Rejoice is a huge word and it fits better than we think if we just take a minute to adjust our eyes. I suppose when we think of a giant word like REJOICE we expect a giant feeling; one that sticks around for a while. We think if something is big enough to rejoice then there is this giant, almost euphoric cloud that envelopes everything. That would be lovely wouldn’t it…folks, I think we call that heaven and this life is not that! When we have such a giant expectation it often comes with a giant disappointment. I’d like to suggest that rejoice isn’t as inflated as we make it in our minds. Rejoice is more of a hiccup that brings sparkle, light, joy, hope and meaning. It comes in spurts long enough to lift our hearts and re-focus our vision. The third week of Advent is joyful because “it’s almost here!” If we’ve been busy getting our hearts ready for God’s Son, then that is exciting news but if we’ve been busy getting ready for a holiday then our reaction is much different.
Rejoicing sets our balance but we have to recognize when those little moments appear on our radar and we need to learn to slow down long enough to recognize and relish them. Here’s how it works…
*I have a job I LOVE! (rejoice) I have a stack of 150 cursive handwriting papers to check (yuck) I check them all and stamp then with a Christmas sticker and the task is done! (rejoice) By next Friday I’ll have 76 more to check. (yuck) I get to spend every day with middle lovelies that make me laugh and amaze me weekly with their curiosity and humor! (rejoice)
*After 4 months of studying in Austria our Shannon came home yesterday! (rejoice) We had to drive to Toledo in a snow storm to pick her up (yuck) After spending nearly 8 hours on the road to make a 4 hour drive we pulled into our garage. (rejoice)
*I have a beautiful, cozy home. (rejoice) The bathroom gets messy, the kitchen sink fills with dishes and dust collects on all the furniture. (yuck) I get a burst of energy and a window of time and everything is once again in order. (rejoice) Someone gets hungry, comes in from the barn and makes tracks on the floor and the laundry piles up again. (yuck) I’m surrounded by a family God picked just for me and they are healthy so they eat, and play and move and work and come home to see me and need me. (GREAT rejoice)
See how it works! Rejoicing comes in spurts and it’s like a little fourth of July display in your heart to remind you that the Lord is amazing and his love comes in bursts of light again and again. But here’s the thing; we have to have our eyes open to see it and our heart open to feel it. Rejoicing happens in the midst of the regular and the yuck not in place of it. It pops up all over and sometimes catches us by surprise…like todays snow day! This third week of Advent is just the right time to wake up and smell the rejoicing! Keep your eyes open and your heart ready. One last thing…rejoicing is multiplied when we follow it with gratitude. Don’t forget to tell him thank you and let him know you noticed the joyful things he sprinkled throughout your day.
A Seed To Plant: Sit for a quiet minute and ponder the “rejoice” moments of the last few days that you might have missed.
Blessings on your day!
Click on the items below to expand the options available to you to explore the Joyful Words blog.