I wore shorts for the first time since September! Did you hear that? I put on shorts and a T-shirt and went outside and turned my face toward the warm sun. I greeted it like a long-lost friend, and our reunion was glorious! If this doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, you might be reading from a state like Florida or Arizona, so I’ll explain it to you. The winter in the Midwest threatened to never end. Last month I wrote about the arrival of spring, but you know what? Spring never came. It teased us every few weeks. We saw the outline of the sun peeking from behind the clouds, and then it disappeared again as fast as it came, leaving behind a cold that chilled me to the bone. I’m sitting here writing this with freckled hands and the sting of a lingering sunburn. (Mom, if you are reading this, I promise I will put sunscreen on every day from here on out.)
Often our lives cycle like the seasons. We find ourselves in seasons of plenty and seasons of scarcity. Seasons of wandering and those of clear direction. Seasons of joy as well as grief. So here I am now, soaking up this season of sunshine. Love and warmth and joy are dripping from my fingertips, and my heart is filled with hope. I know that winter will come again. The memory of the last drought is still fresh in my memory, but for today I will relish in the contentment of this particular day because despair cannot have the last word in my life.
Psalms 30:5 reads, “Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
Assurance that we will not always live in feelings of sadness is good. It is important to know that a new season is always around the corner, but knowing is not enough. Once we know, we must also shout our knowledge, our joy, our confidence, and our faith. Then we praise our God with singing, dancing, and intentionality.
Intentionality? Is that where you thought I was going to go with this? Intentional living isn’t exactly a phrase we learned in Sunday school, but living with a purpose is one of the many ways we can point to God’s glory in all we do. When we live our lives with purpose, we will find peace through all the seasons of life. When we live our lives with confidence of the hope that is to come, we will maintain consistency through the harshest of circumstances. That unshakeable, unwavering certainty will weather the darkest storm.
Psalm 30: 11-12 reads, “You turned my wailing into dancing, you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.”
I’m about to sign off for now. The forecast predicts rain again tomorrow, but today is warm and sunny. I’m going to head back outside and marvel at this season. I’ll be ok tomorrow because joy is intentional. True joy comes from certainty in the Lord. I know with certainty that the Lord will remain constant through every season.
How will you choose to find joy today and each season of life?