Don’t you love this time of year?
New leaves are coming out. Everything is blooming, splashing color everywhere. Wherever I look in my back yard there are flowers. The fragrance of Jasmine has given way to the heavenly smell of Orange blossoms, and the Honeysuckle this week in my office (my gazebo) has been amazing. Everything is waking up to new life–exploding with it.
It seems strange to encounter death in this season of life, but so it happens. Just yesterday it interrupted life again for one of my friends whose father died. Another friend had the second anniversary of her husband’s sudden death, her young children’s father. I left messages for them and was blessed to get responses of praise. I know these people and they were not pretending. They “…have learned to walk in the Presence of Life and are happy” even in their pain.*
That is quite a feat, quite an accomplishment. And it doesn’t come without pain. It’s the learning to choose joy that makes you rise above it to a bigger perspective. And there is a bigger perspective to be had. Part of the life we experience this time of year comes from the anniversary of the Lifegiver giving us freedom to choose life and joy. And lets face it, with the spector of death dogging us, joy is not always easy to choose.
Can we really choose joy? Yes!
If you aren’t familiar with scripture, it is full of places that say we can.
It comes in the presence of the Lifegiver. He is the source of life and joy. One of my favorite quotes is from David the psalmist who says, “In Your presence is fullness of joy. At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. “*
How do we get into His presence?
Simply ask and then become aware. Gratitude is one of the doorways to His presence. Just noticing the beauty and fragrance all around you can remind you of the Source of beauty and joy and love.
Another doorway is your need. Again you have choice. All you have to do is ask. Hope is readily available. Part of the beauty of spring is the hope of newness coming.
Need more than just encouragement to choose?
Absorb that God delights in you. That He sings over you, rejoices in you.* That He wants you in His presence–wants to be in your presence.
This morning He said to me, “If you love being in My presence, you can love every moment, because I am always with you.”*
It’s my choice to see Him everywhere, or not. I can notice the flowers, the fragrance, or not. I can spend the 10-30 seconds it takes to anchor joy in my brain or I can move on in one or two, and not notice His love of beauty and me. It’s all my choice, but He’s here.
*my paraphrase of Psalm 89:15, Psalm 16:11, Zephaniah 3:17, Matthew 28:20