March 9, Saturday

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“A Heart of Celebration”

Exodus 10:9

“Moses answered, “We will go with our young and our old, with our sons and our daughters, and with our flocks and herds, because we are to celebrate a festival to the Lord.”

In her memoir, The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom writes of an evening in the Ravensbruck concentration camp, where her sister Betsie insists on thanking God for their living conditions – a barrack infested with fleas. “’Give thanks in all circumstances,’ [Betsie] quoted. ‘It doesn’t say, in pleasant circumstances. Fleas are part of where God has put us.’” While Corrie writes of her doubtfulness, she finds out later that because the guards hated the fleas, this sector of camp was rarely monitored and harassed. As a result, Corrie and Betsie were able to have prayer meetings and minister to women freely, so that even in a dark place they found abundance of life!

This idea of celebration is extremely important. The purpose for Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt is so that they may worship the Lord and celebrate His faithfulness, for God is fulfilling promises made to their forefathers. Isn’t it amazing? The response of the people after receiving their freedom will be to worship the Lord. The agenda does not include complaining about the last several hundred years, regretting lost time and wasted opportunity, or wishing that deliverance could have come sooner. Instead, what the people will do is to rejoice in what God has wrought on their behalf. Moses does not know what the journey out of Egypt will entail, if it will be easy or difficult. But what he does know is that the people will worship God.

While we know that the Israelites will certainly fall short of their intentions (and so do we), we can still learn and aspire to be people who celebrate. Celebration is not only a spontaneous reaction to positive things. Celebration can take place because we plan for it.

So today, let’s plan to celebrate what God has done and will do. Let’s commit ahead of time to giving thanks when we anticipate both good things and hard things happening. Let us choose to celebrate with all that we have and with all those around us. May we ask Him to help us live up to these plans of believing, seeing, and testifying that He has been and will continue to be good to His people.

Prayer: Father, thank You for all Your goodness in my life. Put words of thanksgiving in my heart! Help me to intentionally and purposefully celebrate Your work in my life. Cultivate a habit of praise in my life so that I will become someone who celebrates Your goodness in all circumstances. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Matthew 27-28

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