So, we've talked a bit about endurance lately. But one thing I've realised over the past few weeks is the importance of celebration.
Endurance is all well and good, but if we don't take the time to stop and reflect on the race then all we have are some serious lessons learned and sweaty gym kit. And where's the fun in that? Maybe instead we need to look at what we've done and where we've been and what we've learned and then CELEBRATE
good times come on.
Celebration is our declaration that something good has happened and is happening. Its our way of acknowledging and commemorating something special.
We can celebrate through days we're walking on sunshine and days we're in the valley of the shadow of death. We can celebrate through jobs lost and jobs won. We can celebrate through life bestowed and life taken. We can celebrate through days we climb mountains and the days getting out of bed is climbing a mountain. We can celebrate through team wins and loses. We can celebrate through dreams broken and prayers answered. We can celebrate through sickness and health. We can celebrate through times to laugh, times to cry and times to dance.
We can celebrate because God is good all the time.
All the time, God is good.
Not to trivialise the painful and broken moments, not to pretend like they didn't exist but to face them straight on, acknowledge their existence and yet say perhaps with a faltering voice and through the tears, that God is good all the time.
All the time, God is good.
We can celebrate because we are winning battles big and small. And sometimes the celebration is a double measure. I realised that in the story Jesus told about the Son who came home the Dad says this,
And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.
The story continues, "And they began to celebrate." Luke 15v23-24. There was no family WhatsApp group back in the day, the Father didn't get to see selfies of his son living it up at parties (he also wasn't able to send 5 minute videos no one has time to watch). There would have come a day when the Father just didn't think he'd ever hear from or see his son again. He thought his son was lost, never to be returned.
So how great the celebration when actually that which was lost was returned. I am so thankful for the God of resurrection who can take the dead things of our lives are restore them to more than we had before.
So if you're looking to celebrate this summer - I'm your girl. Just tell me where to be and when and I'll turn up on your doorstep with a bottle of champagne in one hand and party poppers in the other. And if you're really lucky/I'm organised enough I'll even bake a cake. For real, call me.
But, on the flip side, if your celebration is more a lament, if your heart is weary and your soul feels weak, still call me. I'll still turn up with bottle of fizz because God keeps track of our sorrows, he collects our tears in his bottle and records each one in his book (Psalm 56v8). So we can empty our bottle as a reminder of the One who is with us in our sorrow.