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We’ve all heard the saying, “Life is filled with ups and downs.” But most of us would agree that it’s also filled with lots of ordinary days in between. What do we do with those times that just feel like “business as usual” - when we find ourselves dragging along, not really getting anywhere?
It can be hard to sense God’s presence when we’re stuck in a rut. We experience His joy when we’re celebrating a victory, find comfort in His love in times of crisis and loss. But what about today? Or a plain old Monday when we don’t even feel like getting out of bed?
Consider this: not only is He there in the everyday moments, but He seems to delight in revealing Himself in the most “ordinary” parts of our lives.
When you have a week full of Mondays, here are some encouraging ways to find hope and renewal:
» Ask God to open your eyes to what you are missing.
As the saying goes, “Sometimes what you’re looking for is right under your nose.” In our media-driven, headline-shouting culture, it’s tempting to believe: “If big things aren’t going on in my life, I’m doing something wrong.”
But the truth is, everything matters to God -- no matter how big or small it seems to us. Sure, there are some amazing “burning bush” moments, but as Elijah experienced in 1 Kings 19:12, there are also times of quiet presence. God was not in the great wind or earthquake or fire, but rather the “gentle whisper” that followed. If you’re feeling less-than-inspired lately, ask Him to open the eyes of your heart. It’s possible He’ll reveal something that’s been quietly unfolding in front of you all along.
» Keep an eye on God’s beautiful creation.
If we allow it to speak to our hearts, nature has a unique way of drawing us toward the Creator of all things. Psalm 22:3 reminds us that God inhabits the praises of His people, and we can surely sense His delight as we praise Him for all He has made. Watch as the sunrise declares His unfailing love (Psalm 143:8); let the “birds of the air” and “flowers of the field” remind you to trust Him (Matthew 6:26-29); sit under the stars as the heavens declare His glory. (Psalm 19:1) Capture the moment with a camera; Collect a few rocks or shells to keep in your office cubicle or by the kitchen sink – whatever will remind you that there’s living, breathing evidence of God’s presence all around you, every day.
» Encourage someone who needs it.
In Matthew 25:40, Jesus reminds us that as we serve one another, we encounter God in a very special way. Sometimes, when we find ourselves in a rut, the most helpful thing we can do is reach out to someone else. Pray that God will lead you to those who need encouragement right now. If you’d like a starting point, visit our encouragement section for inspiration, cards, gifts and other uplifting resources. As you faithfully share God’s love, that feeling of being “stuck” in your own life may just fade into the background.
» Keep your journal close.
Even if it’s just a thought or two, try to share a few words from your heart in a journal each day. What little steps did you take? How did you sense God’s presence? As you look back over your daily journey, you just might see that there’s a lot more going on than you realize – the big, beautiful picture you’re a part of may become a little clearer.
No matter what, give yourself the gift of grace -- be kind to you and treat yourself once in a while! We’re often our own worst critics, and sometimes we need to be reminded that we’re doing the best we can with what we have. Our loving Father isn’t waiting impatiently for us to “get it right,” but He’s always there to help us take another step of faith when we’re ready.
Above all, remember: Every day matters – not because of the impressive things we do or the exciting lives we lead, but because of the unchanging love of our Creator. He’s the God of Mondays and Fridays and every day in between, and He’s always there doing extraordinary things in the midst of our ordinary days.
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Therefore encourage one another
and build each other up as you are already doing.
1 Thess 5:11 CSB