Happy Jesus Day

“Happy Jesus Day!” my son exclaimed to me a few mornings ago in his little toddler voice.

I reveled in the cuteness of those words rolling off his lips. It was a phrase I had never heard before, and it was especially precious to hear my son say it since it centered on Jesus.

After soaking in the sweetness of the moment, my next reaction was to want to “correct” him and tell him that Jesus’ day was in December or the spring when we celebrated His birth and resurrection. Instead, I remained silent, and I’m so glad I did. After all, shouldn’t we see every day as Jesus’ day?

“This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Psalm 118:24

When I think of the fact that the LORD has made each day and intentionally created me to live in this period of time, it makes me recognize that He has specific things in store for me each day.

He has ways in which He wants me to know Him more deeply; people to pray for, encourage, and love; insights for me to make and mull over; moments to spend with my husband and son. And He has those tender moments planned out too—ones like that morning a few days ago where He showed me that He is actively at work in the life of my young son.

In all reality, each new day is an opportunity to go on a treasure hunt that has specifically been mapped out for us by God. We need only to be willing to discover. So let us pray that we would have the eyes to see and to appreciate each jewel when we come across them. And let us truly meditate on the fact that this is the day that the Lord has made and ask God to help us rejoice and be glad in it, no matter what the day may bring.

Today, new treasures are waiting to be found. So let’s start this treasure hunt together. And as we do, let me be the first to wish you a Happy Jesus Day!

We’re Asking the Wrong Question

When I took this picture, I could see hints of a rainbow lining the opening of these clouds. It was a good reminder that God is often working in ways beyond what we can understand or see.

As I was driving home from the grocery store several weeks ago, I felt sad once again over how political Covid-19 had become. It’s disheartening to see that the political affiliation of each news source has caused such vastly distinctive views on the issue. I am also discouraged when I consider the possibility that different institutions could be taking advantage of this illness for their own personal agendas and gain. It honestly makes me anxious when I think about it too much.

As I pondered how political this pandemic had become, it dawned on me that politics has played a role in everyday life for centuries; Jesus’ crucifixion, in fact, was no exception to that.

The days leading up to Jesus’ death, the chief priests and Pharisees sought a means to crucify Him. Politically, they feared the Romans would take their place and nation from them if Jesus was to continue gaining followers through His miracles (John 11:48). As a result, they plotted His death.

Although the disciples had a far more favorable opinion of Jesus and His signs, they also had wrong political views about Him.

Peter rebuked Jesus in one instance after He prophesied to His disciples about His death and resurrection. Jesus, in turn, reprehended him for not having his mind set on things above. (Matthew 16:21-23). On another occasion, James and John came to Jesus alongside their mother, who asked Jesus to allow her sons to sit at His right and left hand in His kingdom, causing the other disciples to become angry (Matthew 20:20-23).

And on yet another occasion, one of Jesus’ followers explicitly stated what he and other believers had been hoping for in Jesus all along (but no longer believed was possible)—that He would redeem Israel (Luke 24:18-21).

Ironically, this particular individual told these things to Jesus Himself before he realized to whom he was speaking. He and other followers of Jesus had yet to realize that Jesus had indeed planned to redeem Israel all along, but not in the way they had expected. He accomplished redemption through His death and resurrection and made it available for all people of all times. It simply had to be received by grace through faith.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,  not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

-Ephesian 2:8-9

When I think of the religious division, schemes, and hidden agendas that saturated Jerusalem before Jesus was crucified, I am struck by the fact that God didn’t work out His plan for salvation in spite of the political climate of the day. No. Instead, He worked through it, and He can work through the political climate of our day to accomplish His purposes too.

God didn’t work out His plan for salvation in spite of the political climate of the day. No, instead He worked through it, and He can work through the political climate of our day to accomplish His purposes too.”

This is something I find myself needing to remember when I sense anxiety rising within me over Covid-19 or any other issue we have faced this year.

If you are like me, and you have felt uneasy over the divisiveness of each political party on how Covid-19 should be handled and viewed (and all other issues, for that matter), or if you, too, have felt worried as you try to figure out what men may be scheming in the midst of these times, then perhaps, my friend, we’re asking the wrong question.

Maybe it’s not a matter of trying to understand the hidden agendas of men in this pandemic or to somehow reconcile each contrastive view, but to better ask God what He is doing through this time and in each issue.

He may not just be working in spite of the chaos in which we find ourselves today. He could very well be working through it, and perhaps it’s the very thing that He is using to bring redemption to even more individuals than we could possibly know.

We can rest assured that, no matter what comes tomorrow or how chaotic life seems, no one will thwart God’s plans. He is not surprised by the events of this year, and He is still in the business of making all things work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

Let’s keep believing that. Let’s find hope in knowing that God’s purposes will always prevail.