Whenever I hear the word “celebration”, I think of a big shindig. In my mind’s eye I can see the balloons and streamers and flowers and cake (always, I imagine the cake) and the smiles and laughter and, well, you get the idea. A big, ol’ party!
I believe it’s important to honor certain events and milestones. A birthday, an anniversary, a wedding. Some celebrations seem a bit sweeter because of the hardships that came before. The birth of a child after a long labor. A housewarming after weeks and weeks of moving delays. A graduation after four long (or more) years of school. A report of “no evidence of disease” after months, or even years, of treatment.
[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]No matter my circumstances I can rejoice in the Lord. No matter what I may be mourning I can rejoice in the Lord. No matter what monster I may be facing I can rejoice in the Lord. [/pullquote]Those are all big deals. But what about the every day? Paul tells us to “rejoice in the Lord always”. Always? I wonder, does he mean like when I score the cherry parking spot at the mall? Or when the mailman comes to the door and I’m not still in my pajamas? Because I always give myself an internal high-five, if not burst out with a “YES!” and coordinated fist jab for these situations.
As Christ followers, we should know the real reason to rejoice every second of every minute of every day. When we stop to grasp just how much we are loved by God it becomes overwhelming. I mean, think about it. He is GOD. The creator of everything, from the largest galaxy to the smallest quark. He is powerful and mighty. He is perfect and holy. He is so far above and beyond anything we will ever be. And yet…
You guys, God doesn’t have to love us, but he does. He didn’t have to create beautiful mountains and oceans and rivers and flowers and trees and sunsets and all of the gorgeous scenery we are surrounded with, but he did just so we’d have something pretty to look at and enjoy. He doesn’t have to have anything to do with us. He could be like the pagan gods who bless and curse and manipulate at their whim from a distance. That’s certainly his right, seeing as he is OUR CREATOR. But instead he wants us to know him and have a relationship with him.
THAT is overwhelming to me. Why? Why in heaven would he care so much about me and call me friend? I don’t even know, but it doesn’t matter whether or not I know the why of it. Just the fact that he cares so much for me is enough.
When I remember these facts I can rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS. Whether I’m having a good day or a bad one, I belong to God. I am loved by him and my salvation is secure. And it’s not because of anything I’ve done.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. ~ Ephesians 2:4-7
No matter my circumstances I can rejoice in the Lord. No matter what I may be mourning I can rejoice in the Lord. No matter what monster I may be facing I can rejoice in the Lord. Because when all is said and done, there is nothing that can happen in this life that surpasses the greatness of knowing I belong to Jesus and I will celebrate eternity with him.
And that is certainly worth a big shindig with balloons and streamers and flowers and cake. Always cake.