Click above to listen to Rejoicing from Open Spaces as you read (in this post I suggest a way to listen down below). If you enjoy the music, please consider supporting by visiting stantonlanier.com, iTunes, or Amazon.
Can you think of something that reminds you to rejoice?
One of these for me is the azalea flower. Azaleas are flowering shrubs native to several continents including Asia, Europe and North America. They are planted abundantly as ornamentals in the southeastern United States, southern Asia, and parts of southwest Europe. This global presence of azaleas gave me an idea. This beautiful flower that reminds me to rejoice, also represents a oneness all of humanity shares — a longing for rejoicing and true joy. Azaleas come in many varieties and colors. Every April we have several blooming around our house, as seen in this just-taken photo collage.
Life’s roller coaster ride brings both joy and struggle. Azaleas remind me to find rejoicing during the ups and the downs. When I composed the song Rejoicing, I created a more open space in the middle to represent seasons of waiting, moments of uncertainty, and times of conflict, when I wonder if and when rejoicing will come. Listen to the music of Rejoicing, and meditate on the music of life. Try letting the piano illustrate the journey, and the cello symbolize God’s grace along the way.
During Easter yesterday my heart and soul were stirred with rejoicing in Jesus’s resurrection, which is filled with the promise of new and eternal life. Oswald Chambers has a great reflection rooted in the following verse: “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).
“The joy of Jesus was His absolute self-surrender and self-sacrifice to His Father — the joy of doing that which the Father sent Him to do. Living a full and overflowing life does not rest in bodily health, in circumstances, nor even in seeing God’s work succeed, but in the perfect understanding of God, and in the same fellowship and oneness with Him that Jesus Himself enjoyed.” (from Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, August 31st reading).
Have you seen anything today that reminded you to rejoice?