Friday, March 21, 2014

These simple things.....Lenten Journey Day 14 Devotional - March 20, 2014




Taste and see that the Lord is good…” – Psalm 34:8

As I walked to my mailbox a little bird hopped across the sidewalk in front of me as if it was playing hopscotch. I chuckled at the thought of this little creature playing one of my favorite childhood games.

I was tempted to join in, but then realized that a giant human being jumping behind it might give a little birdie a heart attack. 

Off to the side, my eyes danced across the bushes sprinkled with beautiful flowers.  They seemed so picturesque to me….as if some invisible hand had delicately arranged each one in its place.

Where had such beauty been before?

A voyage of quiet awe…..just on my walk to the mailbox.

These simple things….
I grabbed my mail - junk mail and bills. Ugh….can you say buzzkill? – then I headed back.

As I reached my porch, the music of children’s’ laughter from the nearby playground reached over my shoulder and tickled my ear, then twirled around in my soul until an involuntary smile spread across my face.

 Had they ever laughed like that before?

These simple things….

As I reflected on these new revelations of beauty, I realized they weren’t new at all.

The birds. The bushes. The laughter of children.

These simply things brought me so much joy and I wondered how many times I had missed them before.

I have come to appreciate the simplicity of my life recently. 

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.”- Psalm 24:1

All of His creation is here for us to enjoy, free of charge.
But we miss it.  We trade off our peace of mind and our joy like currency to gain worldly things.  We chase after busyness and distractions like our daily bread.

When did life get so complicated? 
Why do we make life so complicated?

We search for gratification, joy, happiness in so many fleeting things – money, luxuries, accomplishments – and in the process we deafen our ears, blind our eyes, and harden our hearts to the abundance of life that is available to us….

These simple things. 

I want to share them with you today, because we talk a lot about our spiritual struggles and the warfare. 
But, when you think about it, God has made it pretty easy for us to find joy.

It doesn’t take a giant leap of faith to see the magnificence of a sunrise.
It doesn’t take anything supernatural to feel the healing effects of laughter and the power of the human touch.
What it does take is simple gratitude.

Today I want challenge you to be SIMPLY thankful. 

Seize moments to enjoy all that God is given.
Not because I’m asking, but because the Word commands it!

Shout with joy to the LORD, all the earth! – Psalm 100:1

Appreciate Him for who He is.

We don’t have to wait until November to give thanks.  In Philippians 4:9 Paul says, “"I have learned in whatsoever state I am in therewith to be content".  So wherever you are, stop and smell the roses.

Literally.

Smell them and breathe in the scent of his kindness.
Listen to the melody of life playing for you throughout the day.
God is fiercely in love with you.
Don’t ignore His love notes.

Write a few back to Him in the form of thanksgiving.

Here’s an exercise for you; before you even get out of bed in the morning, speak out five things you’re thankful for.

Can you try that?

Once you’ve mastered an attitude of gratitude you’ll be more tuned in to of the blessings you’ve been taking for granted all this time.


Let’s pray: Father God, it says that the earth is the Lord’s and the everything in it.  You are the Creator of heaven and earth.  What a magnificent thing You have done!  I know I take it for granted, but today I am making a conscious effort to appreciate the many things you bless me with day after day - the air that I breathe, the roof over my head, the sun in the sky – none of these things have I done on my own.  You have created and prepared them all for us, and for that I owe You my deepest gratitude.  Thank You!  When I am tempted to focus on the things I don’t have, I will stop in that moment to count my blessings.  With a heart full of thanksgiving I pray.  Amen.

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