When You Decide To Enjoy Your Life

Today I walked out in the yard in the rain just to feel alive. Sometimes I do that. Stop everything I’m doing for a few moments just to be. It does occur to me every once in a while that I’ve been given this gift of life and that God wants me to enjoy it. Seriously enjoy it. And I don’t know why, but I’ve felt bad about enjoying life. For one thing, there’s terrible things happening to people on the earth and it does seem strange to me that I’m sitting in my quiet, peaceful yard, admiring a sunflower. I confess, I have trouble knowing what to make of that.

But, I know God made me and He made this sunflower and He gave me this yard and this beautiful life, and so I thank Him. And when I don’t know what else to do, I thank Him for what’s right in front of me. And I tell God, sometimes I just tell Him out loud, that if it’s okay with Him, I’m just gonna be happy. Happy and thankful for what I’ve been given and I’m just gonna enjoy this life. Every ounce.

And I read in His Word that He’s a kind Daddy. That He loves to give good gifts to His children. And that He sent Jesus to give us life. Full, abundant, joy-bursting life. And so somehow, I think I’m doing the right thing when I pay attention to all this and remember that it’s all from Him. All of it. And when I enjoy this gift and all the glory I find in a day, I do come alive. And those with that abundant life welling up inside, they become these agents that reach out to a hurting world and deliver grace.

Rejecting joy to stand in solidarity with the suffering doesn’t rescue the suffering. The converse does. The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world. When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places, let joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices, life grows. How can this not be the best thing for the world? For us? The clouds open when we mouth thanks.”–Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

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