I can’t help it . . . I gotta rejoice.

You probably understand. You wake up and there are things you must do.

And I needed to badly—to go pray—but instead, I just lay there with a smile.

And then I thought of other smiles across the miles . . .

And then more smiles across the aisles.

It’s Day One: bring it on, God.

And I mean you, LORD, the only true God: complete and whole in your goodness, your kindness, entirely in full possession of such a benevolent will to power that I was brought to tears many times last week, and right now I am as the dawn of this day comes.

Do we deserve his gift? Don’t even bother with the question, because HE gives it, regardless and in full regard as well.

We can be like that little cherub up there in the photo taken down by the riverside. He—it looks like a “he” to me—is nestled beside a large clay vessel filled to overflowing. And he basks in it always, pondering the perfection of the promise. And he has this nice little grin, almost a smile, but even deeper. If you could walk up onto that porch as I have countless times, and if no one is around you could linger there, as I have, you could trace his lips with your fingers, and brush his hair lightly, and then you could rest your hand on that overflowing, as I do right now. You just know that it is deeper, and the more he thinks about it and accepts it as a gift, the deeper it gets.

Yes, it is always.

After the still and after the quiet, here are those angels again, to set the tone for us:

In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation” (Isaiah 25:9).

This is the day . . . let us rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24).