Reserved for a Special Occasion
On an average Sunday morning, I put on a dress as I get ready for church. I recently bought it on sale, and the small floral pattern brings a smile to my face. When I glance in the mirror, I stop and think, “This dress looks like an Easter dress.” And then I pause and ask myself, “Should I save it to wear on Easter Sunday?”
Today isn’t Easter. It’s just an ordinary, normal Sunday. And this dress feels like it should be reserved for a special Sunday. That’s when God catches my attention and relieves my apprehension. Today might be a normal Sunday, but it’s still a day worth celebrating Jesus’ faithfulness.
Gratitude Without Reservation
This is a small example of “reserved gratefulness,” but isn’t it all too often true that we reserve gratitude, joy, and praise for special occasions? The month of November is often filled with gratitude as we near Thanksgiving. December is filled with joy and anticipation as we near Christmas. But then January and February roll around and … well, there’s not much happening and, we think, not much to be grateful for.
But what if we didn’t reserve gratefulness for special occasions, but instead pursued gratitude in daily life? On the average Sunday, what if we smiled a little wider knowing Jesus is as risen today as He is on Easter Sunday?
Ever since the moment when I almost didn’t wear that floral dress because it felt too special for an ordinary Sunday, the question has rolled through my mind: What if we celebrated Jesus on a normal Sunday, a mundane Monday, an average Tuesday, and a boring Wednesday?
Could celebrating Him in everyday life actually be what transforms these days into something special, and might I add, something extraordinary? As Christians, our gratitude should come without reservation and isn’t meant to be stored up for Sundays or holidays. Gratitude should permeate the life of the believer like blooming gardenias infuse the space around them with a sweet, floral scent.
Like a Gardenia Blooms
When a gardenia bush blooms, an unmistakable scent wafts from its flowers. Not only are they breathtaking to see, but they are delightful to smell. They draw attention to themselves because they bloom without reservation.
In one of Paul’s letters to the church at Corinth, he wrote, “For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 2:15). Our lives are meant to be a fragrance that causes people to desire the Source of that aroma—our Savior Jesus. Gratitude is an unmistakable fragrant quality of a Christian who delights in God.
Gratitude changes our perspective, attitudes, and outlook on life. And it changes those around us as well. My mentor, Karen, died last year after a long battle with cancer. Even in her lowest moments, she was grateful to Jesus for her salvation and His sustaining grace. She never let go of gratitude, and God kept her in every moment. The fragrance of her life of gratitude even in the midst of suffering was what drew people to Jesus. She didn’t reserve her gratitude for the days she felt healthy. She was grateful even in her suffering.
How Do We Celebrate Every Day?
The question you might be asking is this one I have asked myself: how do I practically celebrate Jesus every day? My challenge to you is to not live with reservations, holding back to bring out the special “Easter” dress for one Sunday a year.
Instead of reserving your gratitude for November, pursue a life of gratefulness every single day. Celebrate Christ in the big things and the little things, the simple joys, and even in unexpected sorrow. The cross still stands, but Christ has come down from the cross, and He is worthy of glory, honor, and praise every moment, not just holidays when churches are packed full.
Bring out the good dishes on a normal day and feast on the goodness of God.
Wear the floral Easter dress knowing He is risen indeed.
Praise Him out loud in the presence of those who believe and those who don’t believe.
Give thanks even when suffering comes. Ask God for greater vision to see Him at work even in the trials of life.
Remember, Christ is just as risen today as He is on Easter Sunday. Let’s celebrate Him every day, with unserved gratitude and unending praise for His great grace.