The Next Thing

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

I have spent many years of my life waiting for the next thing. In high school, I was sure that my life would really start at college. After arriving at the school I had always hoped to attend, I couldn’t wait to graduate so that I could get a job and live on my own.

While working and figuring out how to live as a grown up, I just knew that getting married would finally make me feel satisfied. Pretty quickly after I got married, I found that I was still hoping for more. . . still looking for something else to satisfy my heart.

Do you ever find yourself jumping ahead. . . eagerly anticipating that next thing, instead of noticing the here and now? Do you ever say, “If only I had ________, then I would be happy?” Do you ever feel empty after you’ve achieved what you were working towards?

We can spend our whole lives looking to the next thing to fill us up. The reality is that whatever that next thing is won’t ever satisfy our hearts. Once we reach that milestone, there will be another next thing that we want.

When we begin to look at Jesus and place our hope in our future with him, our own success and plans become less important. This doesn’t mean that we stop making plans or give up on trying to reach our goals. Rather, it means that who we are and how we measure ourselves stops being tied to what we achieve or to what our future holds.

Think back to your summer at Greystone. . . . Do you remember what we were striving towards as a community? We encouraged each other to REJOICE. In rejoicing, we take a moment (or longer) to consider and find good in our current circumstances, no matter what they are. We’re not looking ahead to what’s next to make our hearts happy.

Rejoicing is focusing on the now, enjoying and thanking God for today. . . stopping the cycle of wishing for something better and starting to recognize how God is present and at work in each moment of our lives.

Even though your circumstances may feel difficult, God is at work in you. He will show you how to rejoice today. As we consider how he rejoices over us, our joy increases, allowing thankfulness for the present to overflow from our hearts.

For Further Reading: Psalm 100

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