Lynna Clark: This is the day
I am one of the most blessed people on earth. Here I sit in my writing corner looking out the window at a gorgeous dogwood tree in full bloom. Its white blossoms float gently on the breeze while bluebirds watch their little house nearby. Cardinals and yellow finches take turns at the bird feeder. Squirrels try to get at the seed by lowering themselves down the chain from which it hangs. Since David greased it thoroughly with something they don’t like, I get the pleasure of watching them shake their paws with exasperation. But don’t worry squirrel lovers. No rodents were harmed in the making of this visual. They have learned to just eat the seed on the ground with the chubby doves that are too plump to dine at the feeder.
Across the creek my neighbor’s yard is filled with huge old fashioned azaleas which recently have exploded in blooms of pink and white. Amen corner has nothing on these guys. As my sweet mom-in-law used to say, “It looks like a park!”
But as you know if you follow my writing, occasionally I struggle with a serious bout of depression. I don’t know why. My life is so good! Besides, “This is the day that the Lord has made! We will rejoice and be glad in it!” –Psalm 118:24.
The first time I recall hearing that verse was in a song. My husband and I worked twenty years in a small school where we would help chaperone the entire Middle School on retreat. The idea was to build team work and rapport at the beginning of the year. Kids in the sixth through eighth grades do not understand the necessity of sleep, at least not during normal sleeping hours. But in the morning when it was time to get up and bond over a game involving some combination of shaving cream and doughnuts, sleep was very attractive. In order to motivate the comatose campers to roll out of their bunks, our principal would walk the halls singing, “This is the day, this is the day, that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made…”
To the top of his lungs he would continue. “We will rejoice, we will rejoice, and be glad in it, and be glad in it.” His happy song continued until all were up. Even though I am a morning person, I remember having murderous thoughts.
“Just make it stop!” I begged with my foggy brain. I have to say it made me hate that verse a little bit. I know. I’m a heathen.
Recently I read something very interesting from Bill Crowder.* He is one of those dear old saints who has probably forgotten more than I’ll ever know. According to Bill, the very verse that was used to wake this disgruntled camper was also traditionally sung after the Passover meal during the time of Christ. Scripture tells of Jesus eating the meal then singing a hymn with His friends. Psalm 118 is likely what they sang.
Since the Jewish day begins at dusk, Jesus sang, “This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it!” on the day of his crucifixion. Finally it was time to do what He came to earth to do. Jesus rejoiced at the beginning of the worst day of His life, just knowing He was accomplishing the will of His Father.
Perhaps I should take note. Maybe if I start the morning by reminding myself that no matter what the day brings, Heaven is the joy awaiting me.
Odds are though, I’ll be starting the day with coffee rather than a song; for it’s also important to keep the murderous thoughts to a minimum.
~~~~~~~ *Bill Crowder contributes extra Biblical insight to devotionals found in Our Daily Bread. These notes were gleaned from his comments on April 15, 2018.
Lynna Clark lives in Salisbury. Read more at LynnasWonderfulLife.wordpress.com