Today I had one of those afternoons where everything feels right and easy.
I’d been thinking about an issue that I needed some wisdom on, so I texted my friend (and mentor) Kim. She invited me over for a cuppa, and we talked it over while sitting out in her backyard with snacks and pot of tea. Our hearts were cheered by the cloudless periwinkle sky, and the sun shone without beating down on us—the perfect day in Australia.
There had been shadows lurking at the back of my mind all day. I was tired and in a bit of pain. Despondency flashed in and out of sight, too quick to get a hold on. But as I drove home from Kim’s house, every cell in my body felt light and still. I rolled down my windows, enjoying the breeze, and didn’t even mind when I got every red light along the way.
Joy broke through and conquered the shadows. I praise God for his abundant goodness to me on an ordinary Tuesday afternoon.
The Puritan preacher Jeremiah Burroughs believed that fixing our eyes on heaven should make us content in all circumstances. He wrote of the luxuries sailors willingly give up while on a voyage, and said:
“Thus it should be with us in this world, for the truth is, we are all in this world but as seafaring men, tossed up and down on the waves of the sea of this world, and our haven us Heaven; here we are travelling, and our home is a distant home in another world. Indeed some men have better comforts than others in travelling, and it is truly a great mercy of God to us in England that we can travel with such delight and comfort…”1
We should be grateful for all the small blessings God graciously gives us. But there’s actually nothing small about the blessings he gave today. I would have been kept from this particular joy by any number of life circumstances:
If I worked full-time, there’d be little opportunity for sun soaked afternoon teas.
If I had children, or cared for an elderly parent, I couldn’t spontaneously meet up with a friend.
If I didn’t have access to a car, getting to Kim’s house would have been cumbersome.
If I lived in a country gripped by polar freezes, or unbearable heat, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy sitting outside.
Tomorrow may bring hardship. Soon enough I will be tossed up and down on the sea of this world. But today, I am thankful that, despite all my sin, God has given me the gift of such delight and comfort on my journey toward heaven.