(originally written 2/10/12)
One day last winter, we were driving home on a Sunday evening from our small group at church. It was past bedtimes, we were all tired, and we were each individually focused on our tasks. My wife and I had to get the kids to bed, pack lunches, and get the house in order to start the week. My four and six year old boys had to do anything that they could contrive to delay going to bed, stay up later, and imagine a reason that they might be able to get out of going to school on Monday. We were hurried and distracted.
As we walked from the car to the back door, my four-year-old stopped suddenly, the rest of us annoyed and the interruption of the hurried trek to the house. “Look up.” He said, pointing to the sky. “Look at all of the stars!” We stopped, looked, and stood in awe of the enormity and beauty of the Creator’s creation.
We get desensitized to the beauty around us. Sunrises sparking the day, rain falling soft, mountains covered with smooth blankets of snow, and the fog dancing lightly above a glimmering lake on a spring morning... these are amazingly beautiful illustrations of God’s artistry, each given to use as a gift from our Father to enjoy, appreciate, and receive as grace. Unfortunately, we lose focus as our minds eye is clouded with twitter feeds, Facebook friends, and the noise of our everyday.
Psalm 52:12 says, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation…” The Psalmist faced the same issue of desensitization. I imagine that as he wrote, he was reflecting on the fantastic miracle of God’s salvation and his distraction from the miracle of that gift. Even the words ring hollow if we don’t sit with them a bit. God’s salvation, what does that mean? God, the creator of all things, the beginning and the end, the all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving God offering us, his creation who has fallen into sin, an opportunity to be forgiven, free, and reconciled to spend eternity with Him in love and grace. Wow. Let us never be desensitized to that.
Joy leaks. It spills out as we are crowded with our own agendas. On this day, God, restore in me the joy of Your salvation. Open my eyes to countless gifts of grace around me every second. May I count them by the thousands (see One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp). Fill me with child-like awe and wonder when I look to the heavens. May my joy not leak, but overflow into this world as I’m filled daily by your unfailing love.