I wonder whether God realized when he created "every winged fowl after his kind" and saw that it was good, what a joy birds would bring to people. Take poets, for example. They have great rapport with birds. William Wordsworth devoted one poem to "The Redbreast." In his "To a Skylark" he says, "—with a soul as strong as a mountain river pouring out praise to the Almighty Giver." Keats wrote an "Ode to a Nightingale," and Shelley’s "Ode to a Skylark" is a paean of praise for the joy and gladness that spill from the fullness of its heart.
On a low slung pine branch sat the season’s first robin, obviously delighted at whatever turn of events had taken him back to the Nicolet forest. He burst into song like a miniature Pavarotti cradling the plaintive notes of Panis Angelicus into the rising crescendo of a Wagnerian aria. His tiny chest swelled with the volume of sound he was sending forth. His head was thrust back in pleased delight at what he could contribute to the world’s happiness. Interpret it any way you choose, but that robin knew he was glorifying God.
Couldn’t we improve today’s untoward conditions if we made an effort to express joy rather than the negativism that is prevalent not only in the news but in the attitude of many people? Constant rehearsal of what seems bad does nothing to alleviate a situation. Joy is a tonic if we but try to express it.
If you are unhappy, if the good things of life seem to be passing you by, get out your Bible, find a comfortable chair in a room apart from family interruptions, and turn to the book of Psalms. You can’t help but find comfort in words like these: "O Come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with praise."
Lose yourself in the 98th Psalm where the psalmist urges the whole earth into a joyful tribute to God: "make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise." Then he proclaims the importance of harp, trumpets and cornet and even — "let the sea roar" — "let the floods clap their hands" — "let the hills by joyful together."
By this time, isn’t your heart less heavy and your spirit less weary? Aren’t you beginning to feel a sense of the presence and power of a being greater than man? To top it off, revel in Psalm 100 and follow its directions: "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord—Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing—Enter into his gates with thanksgiving." Why? "For the Lord is good — and his truth endureth to all generations." Don’t you see? In reality, all is well with you, with me, with the entire universe if we but turn to God joyously and gratefully acknowledge his omnipresence.