I adore happy endings. I love lessons learned. I l delight in the payoff of hard work. I am just not as crazy about getting there. So many times my celebrating is at the end of some season or journey. As people who love the Lord, we are to celebrate along the way. It isn’t easy to smile when uncertainty is staring you in the face and it isn’t easy to laugh when your heart is hurting. However, when we arrive at the moment that delivers tears of joy and a deep breath of relieve, it is then easier to praise the God that delivered us.
While reading in Psalm 37 yesterday, there were some clear steps of application about how to live and celebrate in the moments along the way. It clearly says to TRUST in the Lord and do good. It then tells us to COMMIT our way to the Lord. Then we are to be STILL and WAIT patiently for Him. Lastly, we are to REFRAIN from anger and turn away from wrath. After reading the nine verses at the beginning of that Psalm, I had to break it down and do a “way check”. I pondered on the thought of how I handle myself along the way. Honestly, I think I have some work to do on celebrating along the way and not waiting until the end result. Three times in those nine verses there is a command that screams at me….”Do not fret”. I might get away with saying that I don’t worry a ton, but I am not sure I can dodge fretting. Fret sounds like a more casual, less intense word for worry. Funny that God picked those words in the middle of the commands.
Nestled in between those four key commands are the gentle promises of rewarded ways. They are reminders that the comparison game will trip us up. The “ways” of the world may look rewarding or even unfair, but God’s way offers the best end results…the joyfully ever afters. He promises that those who do wrong will wither away (vs. 2). There is the promise to enjoy safe pastures when we do good (vs. 3). He will make us shiny as our righteousness will shine like the dawn (vs. 6) and refraining from anger will produce hope in the Lord and we will inherit great things (vs 9).
If I profess to believe that Jesus will get us to the celebratory moments, the payoff of hard work, and the delivery of His promises, then I must work hard to believe in THE WAY….the getting there. When we live with expectancy even in the tough stuff and the grunt work of life, we will see the hidden treasures of His love along the way.
One of the greatest statements in the Bible comes from the book of John. When Thomas hears that Jesus is leaving them, he asked Jesus, “We don’t know where you are going so how will we know the way?” Jesus responds in verse 6 with “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
If you don’t know Jesus personally, that is the most important step you could take today to work on your WAY!