And the trees of the woods shall clap their hands
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand Philippians 4:4-5
It may have seemed odd to the first readers of the scroll recently sent by Paul from his prison cell in Rome to the Macedonian church. He was chained to a guard, and had an appointment to appear before Caesar on trumped-up political charges that could carry the death penalty. Some had abandoned Paul and many opposed his message. But in spite of what seemed reasonable in the eyes of man, Paul realized that rejoicing in the Lord was his reasonable response in God’s eyes.
The Hydrangea bloom seemed to me this past week to carry a hint of that very same theme. The hydrangea doesn’t wither or hide its head with the approach of Fall. Instead of surrender the hydrangea doubles down on its color and proudly lifts its head to say, “I will pull out all the stops and give my fairest colors no matter what lies ahead!
No matter what lies ahead for you in this new wee, Whatever trouble or new challenge appears on your doorstep, remember that Paul’s advice is not just a command, it is also the most rational thing we can do in the face of what seems overwhelming odds. You and God make a majority. So rejoice in Him! Focus on blooming your brightest no matter what weather lies ahead!
This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
I part the curtain and look out the window again to see snow, not flowers and grass. As I breathe a longing sigh there stirs in me the familiar complaint that I hate the cold and wish it were Summer. But then today I realized that when I woke up and looked out the window God had given me an unimaginably valuable gift. No matter that my eyes see snow drifts and everything stands frozen – God is at work. He has fashioned today and placed it into my hands.
Though you may be facing circumstances, both physical and spiritual that are worse than bad weather, God is at work for you as well. Today was His before it was ours. It isn’t Spring yet because God has chosen Winter. In spite of my own struggles I have decided to be glad. One thing is for sure – today will never come again and tomorrow will grow better when it has its roots in the joy of the Lord…
In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children…Luke 10:21
God has hidden his gift of joy so that we can only find it when we look with a child’s eyes!