That's a word in Scripture that I sometimes skip over. It's such a small instruction that it doesn't always register in my mind and heart how powerful, necessary and transformative it is. The God who has already won every battle is the God who calls us his children. When I think about the word "rejoice" in this context, it becomes the main message of how I want to live my life.
In her book "Paperdoll," Natalie Lloyd, one of my favorite authors, writes a "Gratitude List," praising God for the things she's grateful for. I think that writing a gratitude list and mentally adding to it every day is a beautiful way to worship our Father and rejoice in him. Inspired by her idea, I wanted to write a gratitude list of my own. Here are a few things that I'm grateful for right now in this season of my life:
I am grateful for the way God is more faithful to me than I am to myself. I'm grateful for the way he loves me too much to leave me as I am right now and how he is always bringing me to completion in him. I'm grateful for the unconditional acceptance and love I find in his arms.
I'm grateful for the way cars' taillights look in my rearview mirror on the interstate at night, and for having a shower at home that I don't have to wear flip-flops in. I'm grateful for the sound tree leaves make when they scrape across concrete and for the way God planned each leaf to fall at a unique, perfectly timed moment so they look like glitter falling from the sky. I'm grateful for my family who knows and loves me best.
I'm grateful that I'm created for a place so much more beautiful than this broken world, and I'm grateful that I get to love in this broken world before I get there. I am grateful for beauty and the way God is a creator that takes broken things and makes them beautiful. I'm grateful for friends who are honest with me and pure in seeking Jesus' heart above all else. I'm grateful for the hopes and dreams God has placed in my heart, and how he loves dreaming with me and making them come true.
I'm grateful that God gives me honor. I'm grateful that he looks at me with love in his eyes, grateful that he wants me to know him, and to know him intimately. I'm grateful that he wants my heart, and that he treats it as more valuable than jewels. I'm grateful for my smile and laugh and the way it worships God. I am grateful for all the ways God amazes me and lets me stand in awe of him.
What's on your gratitude list?
Mia Pohlman is a Perryville, Mo., native studying at Truman State University. She loves performing, God and the color purple -- not necessarily in that order.