The Hobbs children sat perfectly still on our cozy blue blanket spread out over the green grass, each one with a neon glow stick snapped around their neck. They were collectively enrapt as they peered into the heavens above, taking in the overwhelming beauty of the fireworks to conclude an eventful Independence Day.
When the display began, after each flash of bright light appeared, seconds later, the big boom followed—something the kids didn’t enjoy quite so much.
Of all the things we did bring along to ensure an evening of comfort and fun, including bug repellant to prevent everyone from being “bug dinner” while camped outdoors, we didn’t have any earplugs with us.
So each flare’s accompanying sound, easily reaching somewhere between 125-140 decibels, had 3 out of 4 of the Hobbs children plugging their ears in an attempt to muffle the ruckus.
Good thing is, even with the noise factor, nothing ruined their joyous experience, which was filled with plenty of audible “oohs” and “aahs.”
It was an immensely enjoyable evening indeed… at least until we got stuck in traffic afterward. There were red brake lights and bumper-to-bumper vehicles as far as the eye could see.
“Will we ever get home?” whined our youngest son, Kaleb, after 20 minutes of little to no movement. I assured him we would, although I felt equally as frustrated with waiting. So I had to make a conscious decision not to let the traffic jam, a big negative, override the greater positive, which was fun-filled family time.
You know how it can be when you have to make a choice not to let a real downer moment get you down. It’s like when you go to church, hear a wonderful sermon, engage in anointed worship and feel so refreshed, only to have something unpleasant hit you right in the face after service.
In that space of time, if you don’t talk to yourself, circumstances will rob you of everything you received from the word and all that was deposited in your spirit through worship.
But it’s up to you to keep that from occurring.
In life, there are ups and downs, good days and bad ones. Sometimes, you’ll have to preach a sermon to yourself, encourage yourself in the Lord, and focus on all the ways the good outweighs the bad.
To help you do this, I’m stirring 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV into your cup of inspiration which says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
When you drink down the contents of your cup, you will be reminded that incessant complaining rooted in pessimism is not God’s will for your life. He wants us all to find the silver lining in every cloud, be thankful no matter what’s going on, and remain joyful always.
Whatever you may be going through, be deliberate about finding the good in every circumstance. When you do that, you’ll see how truly good life is, and how good God is every day of your life.
Now let’s pray.
God, I know imperfect circumstances are a natural part of life and complaining about them seems to be a natural reaction. But I don’t want to allow my human nature to get in the way of living a life guided by Your Holy Spirit, which is the only way to experience the richness and fullness of joy. Today, I am committed, with Your help, to being thankful in every circumstance. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!