As I was helping my wife up for the day today, I had to stop and take notice of our new pooch as he frolicked around the bedroom. Because of his size I sometimes forget that he is very much still a puppy! He was bounding around the room going from the window where he was keeping an eye on the guys mowing the lawn at the park next to our house, to leaping upon the pile of toys that he amasses each night next to his pillow.
He has gotten into the habit of running back and forth from the living room each evening as I am helping Piper to get ready for bed, transferring the collection of toys he brings out from the bedroom during the day back into the bedroom. Normally he also includes a couple of pillows off the couch and occasionally a small blanket as well!
His undisguised exhibition of joy this morning caught my attention and I could not get over the gleam in his eyes, the bounce in his step and the accompanying barks that emitted from his mouth! Once I had Piper up and sitting on the edge of the bed, he literally leaped over her transport chair that I had drawn up close to us and began to furiously lick her hands and face! I finally had to push him away in order to have the room to complete my work!
Watching his unbridled energy caused me to sigh and announce my personal desire to have that same kind of energy and enthusiasm in all that I am called to do in my daily routine of life! Yesterday the Pastor made the comment in talking about all that he had done before coming to church, saying that he would happily get the smoker ready and place a nice piece of meat on the grill for his family, but would not necessarily do the same if it was just him alone. When I heard that, I turned to Piper and retorted: “I would!”
Then I began to think about all the things that I do around the house in my current state as 24 hour care-giver and lone keeper of our home and life responsibilities. I made the above comment because I enjoy cooking… and I enjoy eating my cooking! There are also a lot of other chores that I do around the house that I don’t mind doing (most of the time…) I am very happy and blessed that my folks taught me as a young lad to keep a house, to vacuum, sweep floors, dust, clean bathrooms, do the laundry, mow the lawns and tend to the garden. At this point in my life these things come pretty naturally to me.
So as the only one in our home currently able to perform these tasks, I do them most times without even thinking about it… and I don’t usually mind it… sometimes even enjoying the exercise! It is also very nice to look back and see a job well done… and to live in a clean house!
I think all my above thoughts can also be said about my Christian life! I believe one reason the dog has gotten more and more relaxed and energetic in our home is that he is learning that he is living in a safe and secure environment. I think he understands that we love him, that we care for him, and that he’ll get a good meal twice a day with a few snacks thrown in for good measure!
As I look at my own life, I can also say that one reason that I can do all that I do with some level of enthusiasm, is because I too have learned that I am loved of the Father, and well cared for through the truth and actions of His Word in my life, and have over 40 years of Biblical and ministry service and training under my belt!
I can honestly say that I have learned something from each of the Pastors I have served under throughout the years. I have firsthand experience in seeing love in action, seen and heard great Biblical teaching and revelation, learned the ins and outs of ministry through which one older and seasoned Pastor called W-O-R-K and learned that as a Pastor one of my main responsibilities was to serve the congregation.
With all that inside of me, I can’t help but be encouraging and energetic with the work I need to accomplish each day. And while I can’t confess to have the energy of our puppy, I can keep a smile on my face, a warm glow in my heart, a hop in my step and a word of thanksgiving and praise on my lips! I’ve learned that when times cause me to leap for joy or buckle down and press on through the difficult seasons of life, that His Word inside me and the intimate experimental knowledge of His love that I retain give me the ability and energy to be happy, encouraging and full of joy.
So, no matter where you are in life, in whatever you face today… know that your unyielding faith and trust in the Lord will eventually cause you to “leap like a deer… shout for joy (and see) water gush out into the (your) desert, and (personally witness) streams (that) will gush out into the (your) wilderness.” (Isaiah 35:6 God’s Word ©)
Have a great new week, in a great new month, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “What or Whom am I expecting to bring JOY to me today?”