Joy: Are You Awake?

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If you were to share a pot of coffee with a certain elderly gentleman in downtown Dallas, he would tell you that the very sight of rain still brings tears to his eyes.

He is one of many Texans who remember the terrible drought of the 1950s, when it seemed the sky had run dry. It lasted for seven years and left the state in an agonizing water shortage. Crops shriveled and died, creeks became sandpits, and wells dried up. When the rain finally came, the state had been scarred forever.1

When I hear stories of hardship like this, it jolts me awake. I suddenly start seeing all kinds of things I’ve been casually taking for granted.

I turn on a faucet and expect water to run clean and cold.

I see summer leaves turn myriad shades of red, orange, and gold before they surrender to winter’s icy blast, knowing that spring will come.

I drive into brilliant sunsets on my route home.

I crunch into juicy apples and sip steaming tea.

All are gifts to celebrate and treasure! When did you last pause to soak in the wonder of it all? The change of the seasons… the beauty of the night sky… the faithfulness of the harvest…

The miraculous is all around us — a truth no one appreciated more fully than the psalmist. Psalm 104 is full of glorious praise exalting our God the King who is “clothed with splendor and majesty” (Psalm 104:1 ESV). Our mighty King, the Ruler of all eternity, is also the Sustainer of life. The psalmist took the time to recognize and praise God for the miracles that are so easy to overlook and take for granted, the ones He performs every single day!

You make springs gush forth in the valleys. — Psalm 104:10 ESV

The earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work. — Psalm 104:13 ESV

You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate. — Psalm 104:14 ESV

He uses the moon “to mark the seasons” (Psalm 104:19 ESV).

All creatures look to Him for what they need. He opens His hands and provides (Psalm 104:27–28 ESV).

This is the joyful voice of someone marveling at the works of God’s hands. For you and me to know that joy, we need to be awake to the wonder of God’s power and faithfulness. We have to be willing to pause and take in the awe-inspiring evidence that the King of the universe is working and is so worthy of praise.

Psalm 104 is a wonderful reminder that we don’t have to wait until Sunday morning to lift our voices in praise to our God. His mercy and grace and outrageous generosity are all around us.

His joy will break into your life when you are awake to the miraculous and praise Him for all He has done!

Let the wonder of God’s creation awaken a joyful praise in you.

Five Minutes in the Word

May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works, who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke! I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being. May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord. — Psalm 104:31-34 ESV

You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance. — Psalm 65:11 ESV

He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call. — Psalm 147:8-9

He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. — Psalm 147:4

Praise Him, sun and moon; praise Him, all you shining stars. Praise Him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for at His command they were created. — Psalm 148:3-5

  1. John Burnett, “When the Sky Ran Dry,” Texas Monthly, July 2012, http://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/when-the-sky-ran-dry/#sthash.OHgARCq1.dpuf.

Excerpted with permission from 5 Minutes With Jesus: A Fresh Infusion of Joy by Sheila Walsh, copyright Sheila Walsh.

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Your Turn

Joy Challenge: Today, notice the gifts. Notice every small thing that you would normally take for granted and thank God for His abundance! Praise His name! Come share your praise on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

Sheila Walsh is a powerful Bible teacher and best-selling author from Scotland with over 4 million books sold. A featured speaker with Women of Faith® conferences, she has reached more than 3.5 million women by combining honesty, vulnerability, and humor with God's Word. Currently completing her Masters in Theology, Sheila lives in Frisco, Texas with her husband, Barry, her son, Christian, and her two little dogs, Belle and Tink.

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