Sometimes after holidays, this is right when we can get to feeling a little low or let-down after the celebrations. Or on the other side of the holiday coin, this is where the bite of loneliness and depression can ramp up in intensity. May the peace of Christ wash over all who are feeling down or stressed or burdened or grieving or all of that just now!
Just recently the daily devotional I read spoke of the blessings of the Lord being present throughout our day ~ to be discovered like tiny treasures along the way. In our post-holiday return to our “normal” lives, and/or under our burdens, we often fly or stagger right past the blessings of the Lord present in our day; we do not turn the eyes of our hearts, or raise them, to see either the Lord or His blessings.
I see the truth of this in my own life all the time! I carry on in my daily routines, sometimes to the point of moving automatically in ruts so standard and regular and well, routine! I don’t naturally tend to look for the blessings of the Lord in my day’s ways. Typically my view is on the steps before me; and if I’m running in deep ruts, and my eyes are on those ruts or the side-walls of those ruts, I’m not so aware of His Light. This is the dim, disconnected flow of our days for so many of us. Sometimes, by the grace of God, His blessings are set in front of me so that I run smack into them, but I think the Lord means for us to come to them by His gentler, lovelier means!
If we pause at points throughout the day ~ and I don’t think it even has to be long pauses ~ we may gather uplifting and blessing like flowers here and there, and at the end of the day we would find a lovely bouquet of blessings to refresh us even as we head to sleep. Or, if flowers are not your thing, envision gathering the blessings of refreshing from the Lord as ~ bits of candy, cookies, or muffins, it could be a bouquet of bagels at the end of your day. Maybe bling is your thing ~ look for the Lord’s bling along the paths of your day. Maybe you’re a tool-gal and you’re gathering screwdrivers and wrenches throughout your day. Bookworms can gather pages for their book of blessings as the sun goes down.
Pause for 2 seconds whenever you step out your door ~ or maybe even through a doorway in your home ~ and look up, at least inwardly. Just pause for a moment ~ however brief ~ and look to the Lord. Maybe even whisper the name “Jesus” to yourself. Maybe it needs to be a 2 second cry of, “This is hard, Lord, please help!” The Lord may provide you more than 2 seconds, but if you’re pressed by a tight schedule or four, or if the oppression of your burdens is crushing and 2 seconds is all you can bear to raise your head and the eyes of your heart do the 2 seconds! The blessings of the presence of the Lord are there and He’s willing to meet you even in the flash of a moment!
O Lord, may You bring our eyes to You!
Another thing that can help us lift our eyes from our rutted routines is what I call “walking sticks”. Walking sticks are verses we memorize (oh, I hear you groaning) that bless our hearts and draw our eyes to our Saviour, or verses that convict us of our need to lean on the Lord and let Him live His life through ours ~ with His view ,and more urgently maybe, His strength. Walking sticks help disperse the weight we’re walking with and make walking easier. So do memory verse walking sticks ~ if we’re working on memorizing a Word from the Lord, there’s less of us stuck in our rut and a little bit more of us with the Lord!
Pick a verse ~ maybe even something as simple as John 11:35 “Jesus wept.” I’m serious! If you spend the day running into and thinking about the reality of Jesus’ heart and love for His friends ~ and you’re one of them! ~ it will bring Light to your heart and comfort throughout your day! Plaster your verse on sticky-notes or little posters all over your house: on your bathroom mirror, inside your kitchen cupboard, on your refrigerator, inside the door of your closet, where you do your laundry, on the visor mirror of your car, and the inside of your purse, etc. Plan to meet the Word of God this way. It will ease that nagging little voice saying, “I really should memorize Scripture…”, but of far more value than that, the Word of God nourishes and strengthens our souls and spirits. Choose your verses carefully, though, so that they lift you to the Lord in love or that they praise the Lord ~ don’t choose verses that convict you without also leading you to freedom in the love of the Lord! (This collection of verses may help if you’re at a bit of a loss in this ~ https://www.ficm.org/handy-links/#!/who-i-am-in-christ).
Between “walking sticks” and taking moments throughout our days to quickly turn to the Lord, we’ll find less ruts, more Light, and the bouquets of the Lord’s blessings in our days. Along with that, finding His blessings for us delights the heart of the Lord and that thought alone ~ bringing joy to the Lord ~ has to bring joy to us and joy is health to our bones!
A joyful heart is good medicine,
But a broken spirit dries up the bones.
~ Proverbs 17:22