This morning, as I woke up and glanced at the clock, I saw that I still had 10 minutes before I needed to rise. With delight, I closed my eyes to take full advantage. When I next opened my eyes, I was gifted with an even greater delight ... I now had another 20 minutes until it was time to get up!
As I closed my eyes again, I asked myself what had happened. Could it be that I had misread the clock? I looked again. No, the clock read 4:42. My final conclusion was that God had rolled back the time with the simple intent of granting me some extra rest. The next I knew it was 5:00 a.m. and I was ready for my day to begin.
I am not sure that we always recognize it, or take full advantage of it, but our Lord and Savior delights in giving us little, surprising pleasures every day. Whether I misread the clock or he rolled back the time does not really matter. God had given me a surprising little pleasure - the blessings of an extra half hour of rest. If you keep your eyes open today, you will see him doing it for you over and over again. It might be the sun peeking around a cloud, a dime lying on the sidewalk, or a quiet moment in the middle of a very busy day.
The Bible usually focuses upon the big things. It is a highlight reel of God's goodness in Christ (and,of course, our blind rebellion). But nestled in every highlight are subtle glimpses of everyday illustrations of how he would have us roll back into the pleasures of his grace. "He lets me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside quiet waters." (Psalm 23.2) "You make a spacious place beneath me for my steps, and my ankles do not give way." (Psalm 18.36)
Such is his promise to each of us on a daily basis. He says, "Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who gave birth to you. When I called him, he was only one; I blessed him and made him many. For the Lord will comfort Zion (that's us); he will comfort all her waste places, and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and melodious song." (Isaiah 51.2-3) "'Your life will be like an irrigated garden, and you will no longer grow weak from hunger. The young women will rejoice with dancing, while young and old men rejoice together. I will turn their mourning into joy, give them consolation, and bring happiness out of grief. I will refresh the priests with an abundance, and my people will be satisfied with my goodness.' This is the Lord's declaration." (Jeremiah 31.12-14)
Can you remember, as a young child, lying on a fresh summer lawn and gazing at the clouds? The grass and the clouds were both cool - but in different ways. And the pleasures of the moment were so simple, yet so special. This is the day the Lord has made - just like that one was - and throughout this day he will be offering very similar - simple, yet special - pleasures. "Look up to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and its inhabitants will die like gnats. But my salvation will last forever, and my righteousness will never be shattered." (Isaiah 51.6)
Whether it is rolling back the clock to give us extra time (or to remember past blessings), rolling back our eyes to see his splendor, or getting us to do back rolls in the grass, God does not want us to miss out on the pleasures he is placing all around us. Instead, he is bestowing upon us his Holy Spirit that we might say with all his people, "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118.24)