Emily Lex, author of Freely and Lightly, shared her heart on a recent episode of The Joycast. Now..here’s a little more love from her…..
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 NIV
She got off the bus, sparkly backpack bouncing as she ran to the car where I waited for her. When she hopped in, she burst into tears. “I don’t like school! I’m never going back!”
This was so out of character for my daughter. First of all, Audrey isn’t one for overly dramatic emotional outbursts, and second, she LOVES school.
After some consoling and wiping away tears and taking deep breaths we got to the bottom of it:
Her beloved teacher had taken maternity leave and the brand-new teacher replacement was doing everything differently. The third graders were noisy and disrespectful, the regular, comfortable routine was shifted, everything felt strange and messed up and she just wanted things to go back to how they used to be.
She’s a girl after my own change-resistant heart.
The next morning when I woke her for school, she looked up at me with her wild bed hair and still sleepy eyes, “Mom, I’ve been thinking about it and decided that I’m just going to keep telling myself that today’s going to be a good day, today’s going to be a good day, today’s going to be a good day.” Her determination was adorable.
Positive self-talk is important and valuable and I’m not here to dismiss it. Keeping those words in her mind all day would surely help her look for the good instead of focusing on what was going terribly wrong. So, I smiled back and told her that was a great idea.
But I couldn’t leave it there. There was something more to be learned.
On the way to school, a song popped into my mind from my childhood. Perhaps you know it too?
This is the day (this is the day), that the Lord has made (that the Lord has made) I will rejoice (I will rejoice) and be glad in it (and be glad in it).
It’s a peppy tune that can easily get stuck in your head (sorry about that) and as I sang it to her, she giggled at the sight of mom singing and clapping in the school drop-off line. And in that silly moment between mother and daughter, the Lord spoke something so simple, yet so profound to my heart: It’s not actually about having good or bad days. Surely there will be both and more often than not, good and bad will show up on the exact same day. That’s just how life is. If our hope is in having day after day of very good days, we’ll just end up disappointed. I can’t set my daughter up for that. I can’t set me up for that!
Instead, that little song taken from an ancient Biblical song reminds us that whether life is smooth and comfortable and going just the way we want them to, or whether it has turned upside-down and feels strange and disorienting, it is still a day the Lord has made, and we are wise to rejoice in it.
But also – and this is the very best part – the writer of Psalm 118 is referring to one particular day that changed every day after … the day when Jesus died and defeated death and made a way for us to be healed completely, set free for forever, and no longer bound by our own ineffective efforts to save ourselves. THIS is the day we celebrate because that one day changed every day going forward. It points to the greatest act of God on our behalf and this is worth rejoicing and being glad about.
So, whether a day is good or bad or a mix of both, we can live and breathe and move confidently in the truth that Jesus has and is and will continue to redeem what is broken, restore what is lost, and renew all things for our good and His glory.
This is the truth I hope sinks down deep into my daughter’s heart. Mine too.
Emily Lex is a watercolor artist and author whose greatest joy is creating pretty things that delight and encourage. She lives in Gig Harbor, Washington with her husband and four children. Her first book, Freely and Lightly, tells the story of the life-changing transformation that happens when we accept God’s gracious invitation to a life of quiet confidence.
Connect with Emily at emilylex.com and on Instagram @emilylexstudio