Rejoice in the Morning and the Evening
This is a strange time that we are experiencing now. Many people have said that it feels very weird to be out of their usual routine and you may be one of them. As you think about creating a new routine for your life, I would like to suggest some modifications that may help you face each day and find rest at night.
Those of you who know my story know that my husband Mike was given only a few months to live at a time when we had a newborn son and a not yet two year old son. By God’s grace, this prediction did not come true and Mike was given 50 more years to live. That scary time was really a great gift to us, in spite of the uncertainty. Over the next ten years, God gave us three more children. As each one became part of our family, my mother-in-law would remark that we had a lot of faith. My response was always that we had only a little bit of faith but we had a great big God. The gift we received from God was the realization that every day is a tremendous blessing from our heavenly Father and being with each other should never be taken for granted. We began each morning by the first one awake usually reciting Psalm 118:24, “This is the day the LORD has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” The reply was always Psalm 34:3, “O magnify the LORD with me. Let us exalt His name together.” No matter how much we may have dreaded what we had to do that day (especially during the 13 years I worked in a hostile environment), we looked at each day as a gift from God.
The other part of our routine that I would like to encourage you to consider is how you approach going to sleep each night. Some years ago, when we were reading through the book of Psalms, the verse Psalm 149:5, “Let the saints rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds”, caught Mike’s attention and we started singing together a hymn each night before we went to sleep. A couple of amusing situations resulted. Once when my sister was staying in the downstairs guest bedroom, we thought we were singing VERY quietly. But she came to the bottom of the stairs and asked, “Can you hear that? It sounds like angels are singing!” We assured her that she was not hearing angels. Another time we suggested to our community group that they might want to cultivate this habit. One woman said, “I know! We should have a Community Group slumber party and we could sing a hymn before we go to sleep.” We put a stop to that suggestion before rumors could start in our church family! Seriously, though, I do recommend this practice. Consider the words to the hymn I sang last night:
Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it! Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy, His child, and forever, I am.
Redeemed and so happy in Jesus, No language my rapture can tell;
I know that the light of His presence with me doth continually dwell.
I think of my blessed Redeemer, I think of Him all the day long;
I sing for I cannot be silent; His love is the theme of my song.
I know I shall see in His beauty the King in whose law I delight;
Who lovingly guardeth my footsteps and giveth me songs in the night.
Redeemed, redeemed, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed, redeemed, His child and forever, I am.
There are many wonderful hymns, full of great theology. I challenge you to consider how you can make them part of your days—and nights.
by Eileen Palsgrove, Global Outreach Coordinator
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