It’s hard to believe that we’re already well into April and spring has sprung up in the blink of an eye. My husband and I are the backseat drivers today. My oldest is driving, my youngest is playing music loudly. It’s a beautiful day; it’s family time in the car driving through the countryside.
My anxious thoughts distract me from being present in the moment… I keep adding to my never-ending to-do list. My girls point out the cows grazing peacefully and, suddenly, exuberant joy breaks out. “Calves!”
It’s amazing how the sight of baby animals can create such excitement. I snap out of my thoughts and take in the sights of yellow wildflowers and lush, green trees, and of course the many calves. The simple joys of life! Cruising in the car with the windows down and uplifting music playing; fluffy clouds, flowers, and effortless fun, these are the things that make life beautiful.
This reminds me of the fact that God asks us to rejoice always, every single day, to focus on the big and little things that fill our hearts with joy. It says in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
In this noisy and chaotic world, these verses have been a go-to for me. There is so much profound wisdom in the Bible, but I love that I can find these simple nuggets of truth that are so easy to understand and easy to apply to our lives. Life is complicated enough, but God’s instruction is clear:
Rejoice, pray, and give thanks, always. This is His will for us!
Now, I know that this is not an easy thing to do on a daily basis, especially when we are going through difficult times, but Romans 5:3-4 says, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” Romans 12:12 reiterates this: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
These verses are simply stating how faith in God is built and strengthened. On good days, we give Him praise and thanks as we are enjoying the little and big things in life. On bad days, we rejoice in the fact that God is with us, and we keep on trusting Him, we keep on focusing on Him, we keep on praying, and we keep on believing in His promises. Consistent rejoicing, praying, and thanksgiving will fill us with hope and build our emotional and spiritual endurance just like consistent resistance training will build muscle and physical endurance.
So, I look up. I take a deep, long breath, and I rejoice. I am with my family driving through the beautiful countryside. I focus on my blessings, and I give thanks to the Lord for my husband, my children, my family, my friends, and yes, the yellow wildflowers and the adorable calves. And my to-do list and my worries, well… I carry them to the Lord in quiet prayer, right there in the backseat of my car.
The sun is setting, and we make our way back home. The sky changes into multiple shades of pink, purple, and orange. I feel comforted and relaxed, and I am ready for tomorrow, and tomorrow I shall rejoice, pray, and give thanks again.
Will you join me?