August 25, 2016

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

Happy Birthday, National Park Service!

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Park Service’s founding. It’s something to rejoice over, because of the magnificent lands and history it represents.

Just yesterday, President Obama added number 413 to the list of park sites. The drive to join Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument to the park service has been going on for years, ever since the 87,500 acres set in Maine’s North Woods was donated to the federal government by Roxanne Quimby, co-founder of Burt’s Bees.

How to celebrate this centennial? The Park Service offers free admission throughout the country through Sunday the 28th, and invites you to Find Your Park. If you happen to be in Washington, D.C. its Convention and Visitors Bureau has some suggestions. A Philadelphia television station proposes 10 Breathtaking Experiences. And the National Park Foundation proposes a few ideas.

Then again, many of these things can be done year-round. You don’t need a big birthday just to go the national parks!

Here’s something else to rejoice in 365 days of the year, 24/7: our God. Every moment we have a multitude of reasons to revel in Him because:

–He reigns over the world (1 Chronicles 16:31)

–He is a glorious Creator (Isaiah 65:18)

–He’s given us salvation (1 Samuel 2:1; Psalm 35:9; Isaiah 25:9, 44:23, 61:10)

–He’s left us with His instructions (Psalm 119:162)

–His lavishes us with love, comfort and compassion (Psalm 31:7; Isaiah 35:10, 49:13)

–He offers us hope (Romans 12:12) and peace (Isaiah 55:12)

–He judges righteously (Psalm 96:11-13, 98:8-9) and overcomes evil (Revelation 10:12, 18:20)

But you know what’s ever more awesome? God rejoices over us! “As a bridgegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you,” Isaiah writes (62:5).

Zephaniah 3:17 is one of the loveliest verses in the whole Bible: “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Visualize these word pictures. Imagine a groom’s face when he sees his bride coming down the aisle. Think of a mother rocking and singing her child to sleep in her arms. That’s how God sees and loves and takes care of you.

And that fills Him with great joy.

How can we not rejoice?

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