Daily Devotionals

Joy Throughout 

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Scripture: “He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down. You bring darkness, it becomes night, and all the beasts of the forest prowl. The lions roar for their prey and seek their food from God. The sun rises, and they steal away; they return and lie down in their dens. Then people go out to their work, to their labor until evening.” – Psalm 104:19-23


As the lengthening days bring more sunlight and our city starts to bloom, the annual rhythm of the changing season that drums toward Easter and spring always brings me anticipatory joy. Brand new tree leaves and fresh blades of grass are a certain color of light spring green that only lasts for a couple weeks. I love to find pockets of time to spend in my yard or plot combinations for my pots and containers. 


And yet, even though bulbs and their green shoots and azaleas beginning to blossom in late winter is exciting, to get to Easter, as Christians, we are reminded during Lent that Jesus endured great suffering and ultimately death before giving us the greatest gift of all time. 


Psalm 104 is striking to me because it’s so very true. Every single day, the sun rises. And every single day, the sun sets. We can count on it beyond measure. These facts of the orderly cycles of life and new seasons – aren’t they such a gift? I never know what each day will bring beyond the appointments on my calendar. Family members may disappoint us, the evening news may be of suffering around the world, and truth be told, I may upset a friend or have to discipline a child (this is very likely!). 


But through these verses, I do see evidence that God so masterfully planned the rhythms of our days, which ultimately bring the joy of spring and new life. He also gave us his son, who died to save us from our sins, including the ways that we disappoint and hurt others.


After reading through several Psalms of praise at once, in preparing to write this devotional, it was easy to see that so many of these Psalms– Psalm 104 included– start with something like: “Praise the Lord, my soul,” or “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name.” Praise the Lord, indeed, for the rhythms He provides and for new seasons we can rely upon even when disappointments come on a day-to-day basis. 


Prayer: Heavenly Father, we praise you for the ways the disruptions and disappointments in our day-to-day lives bring renewed attention to the sun’s rising and setting, which we can count on much like your unfailing love for us. Amen. 


Submitted by Katie Alice Walker