"Then David returned to bless his household. And his wife Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, ‘How glorious was the king of Israel today, who stripped himself of his kingly robes and uncovered himself in the eyes of the servants' maids as one of the worthless fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!' David said to Michal, ‘It was before the Lord, Who chose me above your father and all his house to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the Lord. Therefore will I make merry in pure enjoyment before the Lord. I will be still more lightly esteemed than this, and will humble and lower myself in my own sight and yours. But by the maids you mentioned, I will be held in honor.' And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death."
II Samuel 6: 20-23, Amplified Bible
"Why Does There Have To Be A Wet Blanket In Every Crowd?"
"The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible."
What is there in my life right now that causes me to have negative emotions?
Is there a time in my life when I have seen how "rejoicing" in my Father's love can turn negatives into positives?
"Delight yourself also in the Lord."
Psalm 37: 4, Amplified Bible
"Rejoice in the Lord always, delight and gladden yourselves in Him, again, I say, ‘Rejoice!'"
Philippians 4: 4, Amplified Bible
The text above was written by the Apostle Paul to his friends in the Christian church in Philippi. Biblical scholars call this particular letter the fourth of Paul's "Prison Letters," probably written around A.D. 61 during Paul's first immprisonment in Rome. The Christians in Philippi, upon hearing about Paul's arrest and imprisonment, sent him a gift through Epaphroditus (Philippians 4: 18). This church brought great rejoicing to the heart of Paul because they were not only generous with their love, but also with their money. And Paul felt their love in a very tangible way when he was shackled in chains. Responding to the Philippians' kindness, Paul, though restrained in what was a dark, dank prison, reminded his friends that in every circumstance, we can rejoice in the Lord.
WOW! Can you imagine being in a prison cell and reminding those around you to rejoice? Not once -- but twice!
Many years ago, an elderly minister friend of Jim and me related how he had spent a great time reading history books about the types of prison accommodations Paul may well have endured. Many of the prisons were dark and below ground. They were nearly always very damp and smelly with disease running rampant. And Paul says, "Rejoice!"
Paul's encouragement reminds me of the famous French artist Henri Matisse who said what is one of my favorite quotes: "There are always flowers for those who want to see them." Matisse actually knew what he was talking about. He was one of three of the most famous 20th century artists and is specifically known for his use of bright, vibrant colors. However, when a young man, Matisse suffered from acute appendicitis which, at that time, was nearly always fatal. Later in life, Matisse described this time of recovery and healing in his life as "a kind of paradise."
"Rejoicing" when in prison. "Paradise" when in pain!
Too often in our world right now each of us falls prey to the opposite emotion of rejoicing -- especially when trouble comes down upon our heads. This is why I want to look at a complicated story found in II Samuel 6, for it deals with family issues that can bring unhappiness and resentment. But it is also a story that reminds us that we live in a world where we frequently face what I call the "Wet Blanket Syndrome." This syndrome is easily identifiable when you are with a group of people and you bring up a positive idea. This situation just happened to me. I was asked to serve on a committee and as one terrific, exciting idea after another was suggested, one person just couldn't seem to help themselves as they blurted out, "Oh, we tried that before and it will never ever work!" Seems they had to be like a big, wet blanket, tossed on a fire of good ideas. What happened? The fire went out! Believe me, it was tough to get the fire relit!
This is why Paul, so persuasively, exhorted his friends to rejoice, during, through, and at all times when faced with problems.
In our text today, we find that one person in the crowd of rejoicers had to throw a wet blanket on all the joy. I find this incident so appropo to what we face in life today. So we will spend several days dissecting this story and letting the lessons we learn turn us from negative wet blankets into joyful fires of rejoicing -- spreading heaven's positive light to everyone we meet.
And just a little encouragement, why not invite a friend to come to the garden to study God's Word. It doesn't cost a cent and it can be your way of spreading a fire of positive love!
"Your name will be forever glorified
in the songs that I sing,
the tears that I shed,
and in all of my afflictions.
Lift up my words...
...Let my love for You be shown.
Not only with my lips,
but in the life that I live."
Ms. Joanne Starks
"Help me, my God, to be joyful always, to pray at all times, and be thankful in all circumstances."
I Thessalonians 5: 16-18
Good News Bible
"Lord, renew our spirits and draw our hearts unto Thyself, that our work may not be to us a burden, but a delight...Let us serve Thee with the cheerfulness and gladness of children, delighting ourselves in Thee, and rejoicing in Thy work."
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus is available where Christian books are sold. They can also be purchased through Paypal at www.transformationgarden.com or by calling our office toll-free at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.