Encouragement for Today - June 23, 2010



June 23, 2010


In Search of a Zesty Life

Rachel Olsen


"Who out there has a zest for life? Can't wait each day to come upon beauty."

Psalm 34: 12 (MSG)



How's your day going so far?


I wonder if the weather where you are is pretty or if you woke to clouds and felt a little blue.  I wonder if your family, friends, co-workers or boss have aggravated you today. Has it dulled your mood? Are you mulling over an unpleasant interaction, dreading a task, or maybe griping about some aspect of your life this morning?


I recently read that 80% of working Americans have no passion for their work. Do you find passion or beauty in your work? Be it an office job, a self-employed business, or the business of changing diapers and sweeping up Cheerios; are you reasonably happy as you go about your work? Could you be?  What would it take?


What about the people in your life - your family, friends, church members, neighbors - have you enjoyed their company today? Or recently?  Have you loved the ones you're with?


I wonder too, have you noticed any beauty today? Have you looked for it? Have you even looked up?


God is in the beauty making business.  Just glance outside and see what I mean.  Even if it's cloudy or rainy, there is beauty to be seen.  And felt.  And experienced. When did you last take a walk outdoors, maybe through a park or down a shady trail just to enjoy the surroundings? Just to breathe the air.


We see God's beauty most clearly in creation but you can also see it in the way a mother cradles her baby, or the way a woman looks adoringly at her fiancé, or the way a child splashes joyously through puddles in his rain boots.


You can hear it too, in the sound of birds, the sweet whisper of "I love you," or the sound of a choir joining voices in praise.  Have you heard it today?


Throughout the Bible, especially the Psalms, I see a link between joy and worshipping God. I see commands to be joyful, to rejoice, to bless and be blessed. I believe the Bible calls us to cultivate a joyful, "zesty life" that looks for His beauty daily and thanks Him for it.  "Who out there has a zest for life? Can't wait each day to come upon beauty?" (Psalm 34:12, MSG).


Did you wake this morning with an expectation of encountering something of the splendor of God? Did you swing your feet out of bed anticipating enjoying the God-ordained beauty in your day? Are you cultivating a zesty life, or drudging through your days, ticking off your to-dos, oblivious?


If you've been less than zesty, or even oblivious, it's not too late. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart today to see and savor Him, in the miraculous and in the mundane.


Dear Lord, thank You for the beauty You surround each of us with daily. The greens of grass and trees, the reds of tomatoes and strawberries, the smell of the air after a rain. God you are magnificent in Your beauty and goodness! And You're gracious in your blessings. Open my eyes to notice them. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Related Resources:


Visit Rachel's blog and share something beautiful from your day.


God's Purpose for Every Woman: A P31 Devotional Gen Eds. Lysa TerKeurst & Rachel Olsen

31 Days of Praise: Enjoying God Anew by Ruth and Warren Myers
The Uncommon Woman: Making an Ordinary Life Extraordinary by Susie Larson

Application Steps: 

Read the Psalms below in the Power Verses.  Pull out your Bible and scan the Psalms yourself looking for clues to a zesty life in God.


Have you created any beauty yourself today?  Have you hugged someone? Planted some flowers? Smiled at a stressed looking stranger? Written someone an encouraging note? Put on some pleasant background music? Have you mulled over your blessings, allowing them to beautify your outlook? Doing these things to the glory of God transforms them into worship, transforming your outlook in the process.



How apt am I to enjoy my day despite setbacks or frustrations?  


What can I do to increase my ability to see and savor God in each day?


Power Verses:

Psalm 34:8, "Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see - how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him." (MSG)


Psalm 27:13, "I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living." (NIV)


Psalm 27:1, "Light, space, zest - that's God! So, with him on my side I'm fearless, afraid of no one and nothing." (MSG)


Psalm 105:1-5, "Hallelujah! Thank God! Pray to him by name! Tell everyone you meet what he has done! Sing him songs, belt out hymns, translate his wonders into music! Honor his holy name with Hallelujahs, you who seek God. Live a happy life! Keep your eyes open for God, watch for his works; be alert for signs of his presence. Remember the world of wonders he has made, his miracles, and the verdicts he's rendered." (MSG)



© 2010 by Rachel Olsen. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105


Originally published Wednesday, 23 June 2010.