rejoice in the Lord always. i will say it again: rejoice! let your gentleness be evident to all. the Lord is near. do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

philippians 4:4-7

according to the tattered copy of merriam-webster’s dictionary that i have conveniently tucked away on my art desk (which is really just a desk… but a special one), rejoice is defined as “to give joy to; to gladden; to feel great delight.” this definition seems extremely symbiotic to me. i’ll explain since naturally we all see/read/view things differently (and that’s okay!), but here’s how i see that definition: we are to give joy -to make glad- something while at the same time feeling great delight. which actually sounds quite delightful. and we are called to rejoice in the Lord. not only once… but TWICE. and one of those times is with an exclamation point. and that sort of punctuation mark isn’t exactly just tossed around throughout the Bible; i’d say it’s used in a rather serious way. to let these words from philippians really sink in, i had to read them a few times through. (and am still reading them over as i write this actually). it is no joke that we are to find our joy in the Lord. and you know what, this is actually a beautiful picture. when rejoicing in the Lord, we find delight. but it is only through Him that we can have, and truly understand, delightfulness. God never needed us, yet he delights in us; especially when we delight ourselves in him. i heard this analogy from a lovely friend and mentor of mine about a father changing the oil on his car with the help of his 5 year old daughter. in all honesty, the father did not need his daughter’s help, and in turn, the daughter wasn’t really helping change the oil at all. (she was potentially causing more trouble for the situation). but the father wanted her there nonetheless; he enjoyed the time they were able to spend together talking about simple things and life in general. and she enjoyed being with her father and feeling special because she was called to do so. just as this daughter was called by her father, we are called by our Father, with a capital F. and it’s a call that you won’t want to ignore- so let’s pick up the phone and start talking.

now that i’ve explicated upon verse 4, i think i might need to wait until a later time to expound on the remaining verses in this passage. (isn’t it incredible how so much can be said about God’s word through one simple word such as rejoice?) until we meet again, take special time out of your day to find your delight in the Lord. to make him glad.