• Jason Wade


2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,

out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 3 He put a new song in my mouth,

a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. Psalm 40:2-3

It is always amazing to have an opportunity to play a game. To honestly stop whatever you are doing... take a moment and just have a good laugh. I think that in life we really get too bogged down in all of the mess and the chaos and we miss out on the joys of life. I know that I am really the pot calling the kettle black, but I am just saying that I really do like having fun at my job and in my life. I am not saying that I am not serious, but I am saying that I have an opportunity to really spend some amazing time getting to see people from the interesting perspective of fun. I remember growing up and not really understanding the full rules of hop scotch. In fact, I can be completely honest and say I don't know how the game is actually played. I just know that if there is one box you can only jump with one foot and if there are two boxes you can jump with both feet. I know that you are to go both down and back and there has something to do with a pebble. But I really didn't want to know more than I just wanted to have fun and enjoy the game. Some times it is ok to see the world outside of the boundaries and just really spend some time having fun. I know that there is a scripture on if we worry we will not add another day to our lives, but I can imagine that if we have fun we might be able to just get a few extra days out of this world.

I say all of this because I really do want all of us to make our joy complete. I really urge us to take a step back and see how much muck we have really gotten ourselves in to. Even though it may seem as if we are really running each day on all cylinders, we may actually be stuck in a rut that will not allow us to get out. We may not have the chance to honestly get out and really smell the roses. We may be so locked down that we don't even remember how to have

fun in the first place. But I do believe that God intended for us to have fun. I know that God also intended for us to be serious, but I really and honestly believe that He meant for us to have fun and forget about the constant worries of life. Life is already tough enough and we need to be able to take the time that we need to sit back, relax and just have a good laugh. We all need to take the time to once again get out and hop, jump and skip. I know that my grandparents would always use that term to illustrate how close or far away some place was based on our location. They would say it is just a hop, skip and jump away, and with my literal, child-like mind, I would honestly think that I could get somewhere pretty fast if it was just a hop, skip and jump away. But I also would imagine a life of just having fun getting there. It's not just the start and end, but the way we are able to enjoy the journey. The same is still true in my life today. I hope and pray that I am capable of still having fun and a good life as I walk through this life together with April, Amelia, Avery and Charlie.

As we see David writing to us in his words today, we are reminded of the way to patiently wait on the Lord to help us out of our situation. David continued to wait patiently on the Lord to speak and help David to see life from a different perspective. As a young shepherd boy, David did protect the clocks from bears and other predators, but it also said that David knew how to find joy in his life. Sometimes when everything gets out of whack, it is God that has to step in and help us out of the situation. But it is not an act of immediacy. In fact, David had cried out to the Lord on multiple occasions and patiently waited for God's response. And because of His trust in the Lord, we see how God responded. David said again, "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him." Did you see that it was not just the fact that God helped David out of this situation but also put a joy filled song in his mouth. David was able to step out of his situation and recognize that God was the just a hop, skip and jump away. God had never left him, but was right there to help David out of the muck and place his feet on the solid foundation of God.

I really hope and pray that you take the time to see and recognize that truth as well. I hope and pray that you are capable of seeing that if you are stuck, it may take a moment, but God will be there to help you out. I hope and pray that you are able to recognize the importance

of patience but also a joy filled life. Step out of the regular, mundane life and step into a life where God has given you a firm foundation to stand on and a song of joy in your heart. Learn

to enjoy the day, even if it is something that truly knocked you down. I am not saying that we cannot recognize the struggles that we all face in this world, but just like with David and with Peter, God is right there to lend us a hand and help us to rejoice in Him. Life is too short to worry about tomorrow. We are meant to enjoy each moment as a gift from God and I hope and pray that I will continue to find the simple joys in life. I pray that I am able to overcome the grip that the world has on us and help others to see the importance of remembering our childlike faith. Remember, as a child we could leap tall buildings with a single bound, run faster than a speeding bullet and literally blow up anything with the lasers that shot out of our eyes. We always made the winning shot or hit the homer to win the game. We were the best quarterback, pilot, astronaut, princess and superhero that the world had every seen. Where did that joy of life go.... I don't know. But one thing I still believe, that joy is just a hop, skip and jump away from helping us get out of the muck and stepping back into the joy of life. May today and every day be a true challenge to find that joy in Christ all over again.

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