The Phenomenal Message


“Good morning, sir, how are you?” the sweet, bright, and friendly breakfast room attendant asked a guest at the hotel one morning.

“Phenomenal!” the man exclaimed.

I was sitting at my laptop computer at a table in the hotel breakfast room working on my writing when I overheard the brief conversation.

To be honest, I felt like crying. Perhaps I might have been joyful to hear such a remark. Phenomenal! But instead I was deeply convicted.

How often I wake in the morning bogged down with worry, hurt, fatigue, dismay at the work before me thanks to having five special needs dogs in my care, concerned about the administrative aspects of life and ministry I have ahead of me in the day, upset about the weather, going over and again in my mind something hurtful someone did or said, burdened by the cares of this life, etc. Even when my heart isn’t in this condition, and I’m glad for a new day, am I emphatically glad? Am I thankful? Am I exuberant? Am I joyful? Is phenomenal in my vocabulary? Is phenomenal in my heart?

Forever wouldn’t be enough to thank God for His endless blessings beginning with the forever relationship with Himself He has given me through faith in Christ as Lord. And from there the blessings go on and on – and on. But how often I allow myself to get my focus off the Lord and His Word and His indescribable goodness and His countless blessings and get bogged down with my everyday life and the details of it.

I didn’t cry that morning at breakfast. Turns out I was glad. Glad the Lord loves me so much He would chasten me whenever I need it. And remind me when I need the reminder that I’m off track. That my attitude has gone astray. That I need to repent and resolve to stay on track. To be on God’s track. The track of faith and love and joy and hope and thanksgiving. Of loving and worshiping and serving Him – forever. Of loving others as myself with a joyful heart. Of phenomenal! 

I could have fallen into self-condemnation, but that is not God’s will when He chastens us. Instead, He desires to bring conviction and lead us to repentance and ever conform His followers to Himself. He was refining me that morning. Working out the rough ugly edges and purifying me from the inside out. Letting me know I still have such a very long way to go in my relationship with Him. But that He is with me – to lead and guide and provide for me and draw me ever closer to Himself and make me ever more like Himself.

How are you today? Phenomenal? Is your attitude where it needs to be? Is your heart filled with the love and joy of Jesus? Do you need to repent as I did that morning? I believe the Lord will show you the answer. Please hear Him and respond in love and faithfulness and humble obedience. For the glory of God, please do!


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