Enjoy the sunshine

Last week, our family was able to go out, without coats, and enjoy the beautiful weather.

Our family is squeezing every moment of fun that we can out of these sunny “winter” days here in Missouri. Instead of snow or ice, we have been blessed with above average temperatures these last few weeks, to the point where jackets have even been optional.

So, after lunch, I’ve been shuttling the kids outside to explore in the woods, to hide and go seek, to play on the swing set and to simply enjoy the sunshine.

I’ve noticed recently that so much of what we as Christians talk about is our struggles and the trials that we’ve had to or we are currently facing. Even I catch myself dwelling in this type of discussion, because God has taught me so much through the “valley of the shadow of death.” A common and oft-quoted saying in Christian circles is that we are either in a storm, heading out of a storm or heading toward a storm. Though I can understand the truth of that statement, I’m growing weary of focusing on the storm.

I don’t think we stop enough and bask in the pure blessing of being a child of God. We are so busy suiting up for the very real spiritual battle around us, that we shield ourselves from delighting in our victorious King. For many, Christianity is all work and no play, and it’s no wonder many faith communities are known more for their “no” rather than their “yes.”

Where is the joy? Where is the dancing? Where is the adoration bursting from our hearts onto our lips?

This week, I want to focus on the praise. I want my life to exude gratefulness to my Savior, who considers me to be His treasure. My life should sparkle before Him, cleaned by His everlasting love that defeated death itself to provide a way for me to be with Him.

I understand that life is often very difficult, and unanswered questions and hurts abound. I have lingered in those dark corners during different times in my life, and all it brought me was pain. Only when God reached down and helped me step into the Light and see the glory of His love,  was I able to leap into His arms of grace.

There is a time for everything, and as Solomon said in Ecclesiastes, a time for weeping and for mourning. But, let’s not gloss over and miss our times of laughter and of peace.

Get out of the cage you have built around your heart, and breathe the fresh air of God’s mercy. Embrace the joy and freedom available to you in Jesus.

Enjoy the sunshine.

This picture makes me laugh because the kids are pretending they are actually riding this tiger like a horse.

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