This past Sunday was Easter, a day of ultimate rejoicing, a day that celebrates the risen Lord Jesus Christ. Forget Thanksgiving; of all days that was the day to remember all that we have to be thankful for. It was a day to remember the most important thing, really. Something that we should be reminded of, well, every day. Unfortunately, we often don't. We forget to rejoice as much on in other 364 days of the year, which is odd, seeing as Easter is an symbolic celebration on Christ's resurrection; it's not like it's an actual anniversary of a recorded date.
It's so easy to get bogged down with the world. Whether they are things like jobs, school, or even our friends and family, sometimes we get so preoccupied with them that we forget to simply rejoice in the fact that Christ suffered, died, and was resurrected. Since that's largely the foundation of our faith, it's odd that people forget to rejoice in it so often (and you guys should know by now that when I say "people" on this blog, I pretty much mean "me").
But I think the problem goes deeper than that. I think we often have a hard time rejoicing in the ordinary, everyday gifts. I know I just said that we often get bogged down in jobs, school, and social lives, and that's true, but I did not mean those things were bad, only that we often don't realize how wonderful they are and how God has blessed us with them. They become routine and stale when we should always be on the lookout for why God has put us where we are and what we can do to fulfill His purposes in the context of our everyday lives.
The pastor at my church recently preached on this, using Psalm 118:24 as an example. I've always liked that verse, and it's one that I try to pray at the start of each day. No matter what kind of wretched stuff can be going on in our life, at the end of the day, every second we have is a gift from God, one that we should rejoice in. Yes, bad stuff happens and we may not be perky or optimistic all the time (Lord knows I'm not), but there is visible good to be found in almost every situation, and even in the tragedies where there is no visible good, we at least have the knowledge that God is in control and that life will go on. My family has been going through very difficult times right about now, and this has given comfort to me. It's not the cliched "it's just God's plan" explanation of crisis (though admittedly it sounds that way). For me, it's more like realizing that even in the blackest situations there are rays of hope, and those simple rays are something to rejoice in.