I have been praying lately for the Lord to show me His Joy throughout my readings and throughout my day so I can understand more fully what His Joy is all about. He has shown me and I am most thankful.
As I have been reminiscing about my friend Linda, another friend also came to mind who reflects so well Christ’s joy in everything she does. She seeks to have His joy with all her heart. These two friends of mine have a lot in common! They both radiate Jesus’ love and joy. I thought about Christ and what He would have looked like going throughout His day doing His Father’s appointed work for Him to do. I wondered what His face looked like. His tone of voice. His temperament. I kept wondering and just started praying for me to envision what His Joy looked like. To more fully radiate His Joy, I must understand more fully what it is all about.
God answered my prayer. I know He will have to explain more and more to me about His Joy throughout my life, but I had an opportunity to share in Christ’s true Joy just the other day.
Lewis, Hannah and I have been doing some gardening lately since planting season starts a bit early here in the desert :-)….and I have been talking to them about how important it is to get all the dead parts of the plants/flowers out, so that new growth can appear and be healthy and not choked out by all the “bad” stuff around it…so that it doesn’t die….but also so that new growth can appear (some of it has to die for new growth to appear!).
We went to our favorite place to eat later that day…with a desert turtle refuge/park nearby. There was a man there weeding the grass diligently…very friendly to us. Lewis asked about what he was doing…I told him again about weeding and how it gets rid of all the dead stuff that takes away the nutrients from the healthy grass…and helps it grow better…and then I stopped. Do I talk about the spiritual stuff to reinforce it in my little one’s mind in front of this man? I knew I would do it if he wasn’t there.
This is where God pressed upon my heart…”MY Greatest JOY,” He said, “is in giving salvation to the blind…to those that don’t know me yet.” “But,” I protested, “I have been faithful in sharing your gospel, your Word much lately, and it hasn’t gone very well for me…or at least like I imagined.” I was beginning to doubt my methods…my timing…even His voice to me. So very much this past year and a half…I have doubted. I have obeyed. But, then, I have doubted. And doubt, for me, always leads to discouragement.
SO, I shared the spiritual part with Lewis, as I try to do at home with him, as best and often as I can 😉 Long story short, an opportunity arised for me to share the gospel with this man. He was hurting. He was trying all sorts of things to help himself get better. The Lord gave me compassion and understanding for him and we were able to share in the Lord’s Joy of bringing His Word to those that don’t know Him. I don’t know the impact of the conversation. I don’t know if the seeds that were planted will grow or dissipate. Not until heaven will I know! BUT, I do know that HIS JOY became MY JOY and it filled me up once again. This time, I let the outcome rest in HIS hands…not mine. His Joy is TRUE JOY!!! It never ends. It cannot be stolen. And it has endless returns…it just keeps on giving…it is contagious.