You can listen to today’s devotion by clicking on this SoundCloud link.
“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 New American Standard Bible
Sometimes I just don’t feel like doing what this verse instructs. There have been times and circumstances in life that made it difficult to rejoice. Praying without ceasing is hard as well. I might not be in a state of mind that I believe God would like very much. Then I am to give thanks in everything. Any piece of this directive seems overwhelming, and doing all three at the same time is far more than I could do in my own strength. “Always”, “without ceasing”, and “in everything” are all absolute terms which I frequently instruct my children to avoid. I tell them those terms are generally too big and too all encompassing to remain true when we speak. And yet God uses them here, expecting us to comply.
There are times when doing these things are easy and there are times when it takes discipline. When I struggle with these things I often turn to music to help me. I sit down at the piano you see in this picture and play music written by someone else. I sing out words someone else composed. Doing this brings me out of a place of darkness into a state of mind focused on who God is and all He has done.
I may not feel like I deserve to come to God in prayer or praise or thanks. I am a sinful person living in a sin filled world. How dare I address a Holy God? My piano represents that as well. If you look closely at the picture you’ll see that the wood is no longer shiny. Some of the keys are chipped. It has trouble remaining in tune very long. Still it brings me joy to play it and to hear it played. With extra love and time it will look and play well again. The same is true of us. God loves to hear from us, and with love and time He will improve us too.
Text Copyright Richelle Hecker
Photo Copyright Victoria Hecker