Sunday, September 18, 2011

This is the Day...

photo source
My Sunday school class is about Desert Spirituality.  I've written about it once before and can I just say the words of these monks who have left society and communed pretty much only with God and the occasional other monk, their words can be life changing?

Life changing.  This might be a cliche that we throw around too often, but I'm starting to believe that anyone who infuses their lives with that much time with God can come away with some pretty profound words by which to live life.

For example:

Abba Joseph the Theban said:
"This work is approved by the Lord:  when a man is ill and temptations fall upon him, if he welcomes them with gratitude."
I've been learning about finding gratitude in the midst of suffering -- looking for the silver linings, being satisfied by what is right instead of griping about what is wrong, looking for the light in the darkness, but this, this welcoming the actual suffering, well, I think that takes it to a whole other level.

When suffering comes, can I look at it head on, and say "Bring it!" because I know that through the suffering God will help me become closer to Him?  When suffering comes, will I welcome it because it is simply more of a process of refining my purpose, my attachments, my heart's reactions and mind's contemplations?  When suffering comes, can I say "thank you" for that which has been given to me -- the pain, the anguish, the sorrow?  When suffering comes, can I choose to revel in the grace given to me this day?

In church, later, while singing a song, this refrain hung in the airspace above me:
"This is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us be glad and rejoice in it."
This day, any day, not only the ones full of happiness and hope.  Not only the days where we see only light and triumph and victory.  

Simply this day.  Rejoice.  No matter what the day holds.  Rejoicing when we feel loved.  Rejoicing when we feel pain.  Rejoicing on the mountaintop and in the valley.  Rejoicing in the rest and in the weary.

Rejoicing.  Period.

Rejoicing.

This day.

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Would love to see you back here at Finding Heaven Monday night - Wednesday night for Soli Deo Gloria.

Linking with Michelle at Graceful.

Linking with Laura at the Wellspring (because not every playdate is full of fun).



13 comments :

  1. I don't think I had a full grasp of this concept for the first two decades as a Christian. It's still hard to NOT complain, but to recognize that these are the things that draw us to Him. But, I persist in the belief that we can grow to that place.
    This was almost word for word what we talked about at our missions meeting today. Bless you!

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  2. It is so hard to be thankful in all things yet that is how He called us. Rejoice ever day. I will be humming that song all evening now~

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  3. thank you for sharing this....i'm thankful most of the time but not rejoicing about it.

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  4. boy am I...
    happy "almost" Monday:)
    xo

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  5. Let us rejoice in it, because we have only been given this day!

    m.b.

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  6. It's hard to rejoice on Mondays. Thank you for the reminder that God made even Monday :)

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  7. We must embrace our limitations (inflexibilities) to ultimately experience freedom. As Rumi says, "...the dark thought, the shame, the malice meet them at the door laughing and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes because each has been sent as a guide from God..." All love lady!

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  8. My egg carton has this verse printed on the inside of it and I love that it does! Thanks for the reminder to rejoice always in the midst of all circumstances because we have this day. And so I am rejoicing even though I am weary...and in my weariness the Lord has encouraged me to come back to Him! Thank you Lord!

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  9. I'm learning to look for the silver linings and it is truly hard sometimes. But how do we get around those words - this is the day. It doesn't matter what it does or doesn't hold - this is the day. Words to ponder, indeed.

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  10. This is something I am trying to do too Jen, seeing the blessings inside the difficult in my life. They are there for sure and I'm getting better at it because I do not want to miss His blessings :)

    This is one my favorite quotes about contentment that really hits home for me... “Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.”
    ― Jeremiah Burroughs

    I am reminded that God is in both the good and the bad... I want to find Him either way and gratitude is a direct link =)

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  11. I really wish someone had introduced me to the desert fathers and the concepts of spiritual disciplines/practices many, many years ago. I spent most of today working on my SDG post today, trying to find words for what I've been learning.

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  12. THis is so good, Jen. I tremble at these words. Really. I love the desert fathers and mothers and have been slowly learning more about their deep experience of God. It is humbling, some of their stories. Love the sharing here. I'm still learning. I guess I always will be!

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  13. I have been thinking about that song recently as well. That is so true, we are supposed to rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS no matter what is going on!

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