Shout with joy to the LORD, all the earth! Worship the LORD with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the LORD is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.
When I lived in Maryland, I would stop my car off of the side of the road to watch the sunset. There is a big tree just a few minutes from my parents' house that I would sit by so often that friends would send me a message every time they passed by "my tree." Living in the City has been the opportunity of a lifetime, but I do often miss those sweet moments on the back roads in my hometown. Sometimes I get to moving around and working on so much that I forget to even look up at the sky before the sun goes down at night. Sometimes I forget to stop and acknowledge the things that once brought me so much joy, and even worse, I find myself blaming the city for not allowing me to enjoy them.
Early on in my time in New York, I learned about life lived well. I learned about the importance of setting priorities and boundaries, the necessity of self-discipline and study, and the significance of putting Christ first. Unfortunately, I also learned just how distracted I am. I learned how easy it is for me get so stuck in the everyday that I forget to take a moment for rest, let alone take a moment for God.
For someone who is so easily filled by the quiet moments in sunsets and back roads, the city can be a tough place to find rest, but it doesn't mean that it isn't there. Just because it isn't always easy to see the sun beyond the buildings doesn't mean it isn't there. A simple walk to riverside gives me a great view of the water and the sky - if only I am willing to seek it out.
My relationship with God has been like this so often. Life seems restful and full when it's obvious He's there, but busy and full of frustration when it's not. See, it's not a matter of whether or not the Lord is present, it's just a matter of whether or not I'm willing to pursue Him.
Psalm 100 is full of actions that David charges the believer to pursue. We must: Shout, Worship, Come Before, Acknowledge, Enter, and Give Thanks. David understood that the Lord was meant to be pursued - an ever present Being longing to be found and yearning for our affection.
It may be a little more difficult to find the sun between the buildings here in the city, but I know that it's always worth the effort. And I'm learning that God is the same way - although it may be hard to feel Him at times, I know that when I worship Him, He will always be there.
What are the things in your life that you go the extra mile to enjoy?
Have you ever felt discouraged or far from God?
When can you take a break from your schedule this week to spend time in worship of God?
Lord, thank you for the things that you've put in my life for me to enjoy. Thank you for the opportunities I have to seek joy and rest. Help me to find those things in You. Change my perspective when I'm discouraged about seeking Your face. Draw close to me as I yearn to draw close to You. In Jesus Name, Amen.