Psalm 118:24 “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Often, we have pat responses to familiar inquiries.
We hear, “How are you?” and we seem conditioned to say, “Fine. How are you?”
I am daring enough to try to break the monotony of such mundane pleasantries by asking, “Do you know the definition of fine?”
Many of you will never respond that way again! As a child of God who desires to be obedient to the commands of my Father, I have found different ways to start a meaningful conversation with a total stranger.
A very dear friend has used today’s text verse as an icebreaker. He’ll ask, “Do you know what today is?” The respondent thinks it must be some obscure “National Donut Hole Day” or something and responds, “No, I don’t believe I know.” My friend then shares this verse and waits for a response.
It is a statement of faith. It declares one’s belief in a way that opens the door for someone to respond with an inquiry, a negative, or a positive declaration.
I have a similar response when asked: “How are you?”
“One day closer to Heaven.”
The response is so obtuse and possibly shocking, it often makes them stop to think. I have heard such varied responses over the years.
“That’s nice,” means they were expecting a mind-numbing pleasantry in return.
“There is no such thing as Heaven,” tells me they’ve been possibly wounded or are closed to discussing anything religious.
“No one can know that” is one that can be followed with:
“Did you know the Bible says; 1 John 5:13 “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
At the very least, it is a reminder to me of the day I was saved, my eternal destiny, my desire to share the gospel with any and everyone I meet, and a way to positively affect my spirit.
Such statements, such responses to everyday pleasantries, can open the door to opportunities to be the witnesses we are commanded to be every day.
When we do not have something that is out of the ordinary or breaks the normal, mind-numbing, low-level banter, we fall into a routine that allows us to fit into the world without engaging in it.
Everyone reading this has, at the very least, someone going through a struggle. Health issues to financial. Relationship problems to wounds that are fresh and bleeding enough to cry out for help. These struggles may be owned by someone near and dear to our heart or even our own.
WWII veteran, Joe Demler, was liberated from a German POW camp at a time when he had all but resigned himself to death by starvation. Time magazine used his picture to tell of the atrocities our soldiers endured in the war to end all wars.
He was known as the “human skeleton.” Many of his comrades were not as fortunate to have been rescued. When asked how he survived, Joe relates his story with an acknowledgment that “Every day is a gift.”
I think Joe might relate to us his relationship with God during that time of his life. Realizing that God gives every one of us the same twenty-four hour period of time in which to live, forces me to think about how I’ve spent past days.
Often, our minds land on the negative. A misspent youth. Choices that altered our direction, our relationships, and define who we are today.
I genuinely believe that we, who are the children of the Living God, must have a weapon against that negativity that creeps in and captures our spirit.
For some, it holds us bound to failures that keep us from doing anything positive for God. Anxiety and depression are the chords that wind around us when we allow those negative thoughts and failures to rule us.
Salvation is a watermark moment that sets us apart from any and everyone else. When our spirit comes alive, our perspective goes from temporal to eternal. We see life through a different lens.
As we grow to know just who we are in Christ; our confidence grows, a new peace settles in, and we can become bold enough to be light to those around us.
Recently a story came to light here in America that epitomizes the mercy, grace, and forgiveness that we, as Christians, should have for those who hurt us. The man speaking lost his brother to a shooting incident by a police officer. Instead of the hateful, vengeful rhetoric we hear, this man spoke from his heart of the love God has for her and his total forgiveness that she can have in Jesus Christ.
You can hear this man’s testimony here.
There are moments in our life that change us forever.
When the doctor says, there is nor hope or cure.
When we have to say goodbye to a loved one taken in death.
When we get the call that an accident has claimed the life of someone dear to us.
When we are asked to leave a job or a relationship that has been a part of us for so long.
Whatever may happen in your life, we must remind ourselves as Joe Demler did; “Every day is a gift” from Almighty God; given to us to do His will; to follow His commands, and to be light to all those around us.
How will you start your day today?