Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
This may seem off topic, but trust me that it does tie in. Lately in my life I have been reflecting a lot upon seasons. Not summer, fall, the never ending winter, or hopefully spring; not seasons of love as Stevie Wonder so wonderfully sings about, but rather the different seasons in my life. There seems to be time periods with various themes. Kinda like in the gospel their are different themes to the different stories we hear. But one thing I’ve been realizing is that joy is the one theme that is consistent in the Christian existence regardless of what season of your life you are in. James 1:2 says “consider it all joy”. Key word: ALL.
There were times in scripture where the apostles just got to sit by the water and eat breakfast with Jesus (John 21:12), other times where people followed them and they were performing miracles on the reg (Acts 3), but lets not forget that each apostle (with the exception of John) died a gruesome death by choice in defense of the faith. These are three very different seasons of life but in each the apostles had JOY because regardless of the circumstance they were living for a purpose and when all was lost, Jesus is there and joy was present.
So now time to tie this in to the first reading in Numbers. To put this in context, God had recently parted the red sea and freed them from generations of slavery. No big deal. They just ended a period of gifts on gifts and then immediately when the first thing goes wrong their hope is lost. "But with their patience worn out by the journey, the people complained against God and Moses.” We must realize that life is not always a cherry sundae, but when our eyes are not on the prize - ie. Jesus - when bad things come (which they will), we think all is lost.
If we want to live a life of joy we must change our perspective. Sometimes we are called to be introspective but other times we need to ZOOM OUT and re-set our eyes on the prize. The Israelites in this reading could only see the doom that was in the present moment and if they would have just taken time to ZOOM OUT, to remember what the Lord has already done and realize that his work is not complete then they could have remained in a state of joy in all situations.
My prayer for you today is to take time to zoom out. To remember all the ways the Lord has blessed you and to take time to name the season you are in now and to find ways to still be joyful.
So to wrap it up write this verse down and pray with how it can change your mindset… “Joy is a function of gratitude and gratitude is a function of perspective”- Ann Voskamp
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
Where do you currently see joy in your life?
When you are confronted with a struggle where do you turn? Do you turn away from God or do you turn to joy?
How can you shift your perspective towards gratitude and joy?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"Joy is a function of gratitude."
"Gratitude is a function of perspective.”
"Thank you Lord."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Today, thank God for everything, the good and the bad, the joy and the struggles. At the end of the day think back and thank Him for three things that happened today.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Jen Mason, the LifeTeen Mission Trip Coordinator for group missions to Haiti.
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