Saturday, July 5, 2014

1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing.”

Family time is an easy time for rejoicing in my world.
Getting together for food, fellowship and fireworks is priceless! As I laid in bed with the pain in my back and the fireworks still shooting off it was a bit more difficult to rejoice.
The sun came up and my back pain is the same. I rejoice that it is not worse... my kids slept well and are bright-eyed and bushy tailed; I rejoice. There is war, poverty, sickness and brokenness in the world... I rejoice. Yes, I rejoice in the peace, wealth, health and wholeness that is offered to the world in place of all the other things. I will rejoice that this is not our forever home and that the journey of struggles teaches us much, draws us in closer to God and his Divine presence.
I am scolding my kids, disgruntled with my spouse, grumbling about my chores, am I praying? Maybe, but is it what the Lord wants to hear? Does he want to hear me grumble and whine and complain? Maybe.
I look back to the scripture – rejoice always... hmmm. When I am complaining and whining that is certainly not rejoicing. I come to the Lord as I am, happy or sad, content or disgruntled and as I talk with him, listen to him and sit with him, I am slowly brought to a place where I can rejoice in him.
I am reminded to remain in him and I know if I do, I can follow these directions.
As I pray for my family, people traveling, the churches and our nation, I am able to rejoice in the Lord.
Step into his presence, soak in his peace and love and rejoice, rejoice always! Pray and rejoice...

You know our hearts, draw them into your presence so we are more able to rejoice. Help our words, thoughts and deeds be a prayer of rejoicing, thanksgiving and offering to you. I lift all to you this morning. Amen.