I just got back from a trip to Ireland. I was part of a group of 16 guys who traveled to the southern part of the country, playing some of the most magnificent golf courses in the world. I still can’t believe it happened. The jet lag is gone, but my longing for that country remains. Everything you’ve heard about Ireland is true. The sights are stunning. The people are warm and welcoming. And the Guinness does taste better.
While I was there, it took no effort to worship the God who created such beauty. I praised him for the deep green he used to paint the grass. I praised him for molding the rolling mounds. I praised him for letting the sunset dance over the fescue. I praised him for taking my breath away.
But now I’m back in the suburbs with no bluffs, little that is green, and lots of pavement. I wonder if I will ever experience such a close connection with God again. Although it might take more effort, I believe I will be able to enjoy such moments of worship. It begins by believing that the same God who cut the Cliffs of Moher also filled my fridge. The same God who poured that glassy sea also filled my cup of coffee this very morning. The same God who created those wonders is walking with me right now.
I also need to remember that true beauty doesn’t always look so spectacular. The most stunning act of God came when the Innocent One was stuck to a cross, coated in his own blood. Because God was working behind the scenes, what seemed so horrifying was actually a beautiful act of mercy.
When I think of the cross, I remember that our joy doesn’t have to depend on our experiences but the God behind every encounter. As David wrote, I can praise the Lord, forgetting not his benefits. He, who forgives all my sins and redeems my life from the pit, is satisfying my desires with good things (Psalm 103).
Today you may find yourself in the most mundane of places, caught in your office cubicle or stuck in line at the DMV. I pray that you could see beyond such circumstances and see the God behind them all. You can be filled with peace and even joy because this is the day the Lord has made, even now. His mercy is new every morning, even here.