The day my world stood still. As I mentioned yesterday, on July 25, 2011, I was not a very good person. I was not a bad person, per se, but I was not a great person either. I was working a descent job, paying my bills, devoting my time to my future wife. But all that would change, when on this day, nine years ago, I held my daughter for the first time.
Mrs. Z had just gone through 27-hours of labor before the Doctor surrendered to Cesarean Section and a few short hours later, at 7:23 PM on 7-26, this was the amazing little person that was placed in my hands.
And just like that, God snapped His fingers and everything I thought I knew about life turned upside down. To me, it was abundantly clear who God was. He was the Creator of life. Here in my arms was my daughter, a perfect little person. Her face swollen from being stuck in the birth canal for four hours, but to me she was absolutely beautiful. And did I mention perfect. There was no science behind this, no foolish theory of evolution. From my wife’s body came a living, breathing miracle. A miracle that was made by design, not evolved over time. We were blessed that our daughter was perfect. Everything checked out. She ate, slept, pooped and slept some more, just like a newborn should.
She looks a lot different nowadays. She is still perfect to us, despite the attitude we get from a now nine-year-old. But for the last nine years she has given me new purpose, taught me what love really is, and made me realize that I needed to change my life because no amount of time on Earth was enough to spend with her. I’m fighting for eternity and if Jesus is the way to get there, that’s the way I will follow.
10Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)
Here Paul gives a great piece of advice: only think about things that lift up your life. Think about what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. Have you ever tried that? To spend one day pushing out all the negative thoughts in your mind and focusing on happy thoughts. My kids and I recently watched “Hook” and these verses make me think about the grown-up Peter Pan’s struggle to find one truly “happy thought” to be able to fly. Then Peter remembers how becoming a Father was his one true happy thought that could never leave him. And thinking of holding his first born for the first time, Peter was able to fly.
I did not plan this. To use this devotion on this specific day. Nor did I plan to reference “Hook” until I started typing. Today, the 26 of July, just happens to be the day I met my daughter for the first time. My firstborn child. My eternal happy thought.
So today, I challenge you all to find that happy thought that always brings a smile to your heart. That’s the thought you hold onto whenever any negative feelings creep into your mind. Let’s chase the dark away for one whole day and see if it doesn’t change our attitude and happiness for much, much longer!
Reading plan: Phillipians 4:10-23
Deeper reading plan: Isaiah 55, 56
Prayer and meditation: Pray for our country. Pray for love to conquer all. Pray that Christ infects our hearts and ignites a final fire of revival to sweep this land.
Fitness challenge: Rest
Worship: Spend today in prayer and worship. Get to church or get to a computer and watch church. America needs a revival like never before.