Some Assembly Required

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Chairein (ki rain)

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24
          As a general rule, I no longer make New Year’s resolutions.  That whole ordeal got to be nothing more than my making a copy of last year’s resolutions and just changing the date to this year:  you know (I hope!)—that whole thing about losing weight, studying more, cleaning house, etc!   So I just don’t even fool with it anymore.  Am I the only one?!
          However, at the beginning of this year, a certain Bible verse kept popping up every so often, and I really got the feeling that that was what I am supposed to be focusing on this year.  I didn’t really get it at first if you know what I mean.  But it wasn’t long before it was coming through loud and clear.  I realized that I was supposed to start every day by saying, “This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it” and then really work to make it happen.  When I say “start every day,” I mean even before I get out of bed.  For those of you who don’t know me, to say that I am NOT a morning person is such an understatement that it’s really a joke!  When I am  having to force myself to get out of my nice, comfy bed every morning, the last thing I want to do is “rejoice”; I don’t really get into the rejoice mode until around 10:30 or 11:00am. 
          For a while, it seemed as if every place I turned, I was constantly being bombarded with this idea of  “rejoicing.”  Beth Moore’s Bible study on James talks about chairein—translated  Joy to you.  In looking for a daily devotion book for the year, the first book (literally) that caught my eye was by Angela Thomas—Choosing Joy.  (BTW—it’s an awesome book!)  What really confirmed my feeling that I was supposed to be focusing on “This is the day…” was a visit recently to a local gift shop to buy a birthday gift for a friend.  The first thing to catch my eye was—you guessed it—a cute little plaque with the verse Psalm 118:24 on it.  Okay, okay—I may sometimes be a little slow on the uptake, but I finally did get it, and that cute little plaque now sits on the window ledge above my kitchen sink as a reminder!
          I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this, but sometimes when I’m teaching/speaking on a certain topic or trying to learn something in particular (i.e. rejoicing), God seems to occasionally give me little pop quizzes along the way to see if I’m really learning anything or if I really believe what I am teaching.  It can be quite uncomfortable at times, and this time has been no different!          
          Can I tell you that since I’ve been working on this J-O-Y  thing, I think we’ve had one of the toughest years so far in our married life.   I don’t mean just our family, but so many of our friends are dealing with some really tough stuff—pop quizzes. My heart has been broken for them over and over again as they talk to me and so often ask me how to deal with the hand they have been dealt in life.  And guess what I have realized!  They need J-O-Y!
I have also come to the realization that I can’t teach what I don’t know; I can’t give away what I don’t have!  J-O-Y!  I’ve got to have it!  But the great news is that it is available to you and to me no matter what our current circumstances—Galatians 5:22-23; then it is up to us to share it—2 Corinthians 1:2-4.     
My next blog is a continuation of this topic, but it’s more along the lines of having
 J-O-Y in everyday life.  I think you’ll enjoy it, so watch for it.  It’s entitled “Some Days My Life is a Sitcom; Other Days, it’s a Sit-minus-the-com.”  You may even recognize yourself in that one.

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