Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7
Well, soon the long weekend will be over, and it's back to the real world.
During this weekend, there could easily have been a dozen national emergencies, a hundred world crises as well as numerous catastrophes in your personal life. Even if those troublesome events didn't materialize, honesty compels us to confess most folks aren't going to be all that happy going back to work.
Perhaps, on this Fourth of July weekend, we ought to remember: the only people who don't have problems are those in cemeteries. Let's give thanks to the Lord for the fact that if we have problems, it means we are alive.
We are alive! This life we have is such a wonderful gift. Even when conditions aren't ideal, or exactly what we hope for, or what we expect. We are alive.
Today, the Lord is giving us the gift of time to be used or abused, invested or squandered. Now it's possible you may spend this entire 24-hour period thinking back on the Fourth of July weekend or looking on the calendar to find the next three-day weekend. If so, you've wasted the gift.
Far better to give thanks to the Father in heaven for your gift of life; to the risen Savior for His sacrifice on the cross which saves us. Let us rejoice that we are alive... and because of the Savior, we shall live for all eternity.
When that happens, we shall truly rejoice in the Lord today and always.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I rejoice in the time You have given me. I am happy to be alive! Help me to not squander Your gift of time as I seek to live my life in thanks to my Redeemer and in gratitude to You for the day. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries