Sunday, May 24, 2015
Picking Fruit - Joy
Joy is one of those words that I find hard to define. Yes, I can certainly go to a dictionary and find a definition, but for those that know me, I enjoy defining words by what they "mean" to me. Joy is one word that, for me, is hard to explain. We have read about "shouts of joy" or "cries of joy". To me, joy is a feeling. It's more than happy, it's more than jubilation. For me, joy has an element of peace to it. When I think of happy or jubilation, I find myself standing up, jumping up and down, clapping, screaming with happiness, etc.
Joy is all of that, with a sense of calm. It's as if there is something inside of me saying, "this is what true joy is - a heart full of love with the situation at hand, and a soul filled with peace that - in this moment - this is exactly where you are supposed to be." Joy is one of those unexplainable feelings/situations where greatness collides. Who brings us, me, such a feeling?
Well, it's ironic that today is Pentecost Sunday, the day in Christianity where we celebrate the Holy Spirit. Today we celebrate the Holy Spirit in all of us, helping us to move through ALL of the fruits of the spirit, as listed above. It is the Holy Spirit that provides us the opportunity to not only experience each of the fruits, but more importantly, to share these fruits with others. Joy is one of those fruits - the one that envelopes why the Spirit is part of each of us.
It is the Holy Spirit in each of us that give us hope when we are downtrodden, the hope that provides the focus on our Lord and Savior. The Spirit gives us strength when we don't think we can go on anymore, when we are tired and discouraged and need someone to help us get on our feet again. The Spirit gives us courage when we need to step out in the name of faith, but may be afraid of what the world has in store. The Spirit gives us guidance when we are perplexed with decisions. The Spirit gives us joy when our souls need to be restored. Yes, it is the Holy Spirit that provides all these fruits for us.
Spend some time thinking of experiences when you might have felt pure joy. Those moments in time when time seems to stop - even if it was ever so brief. You'll remember the feeling. The moment you knew you were in love? The birth of a child? A prayer that was answered? A time when you knew the trust of a friend? Yes, maybe even the day when a loved when went to our Lord - we may find that even during that moment of loss, there is great joy that the pain is gone and their place in heaven has been taken.
Joy is not only for us to experience, but for us to share. Do you have an opportunity to share joy with someone else? Is the Holy Spirit tugging on your heart to share ultimate joy with someone? Step out in faith, provide that joy. Give someone else that sense of happiness and peace. "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." (NIV) John 15:11
Live for the moments of joy. When they arrive, give thanks to the Holy Spirit for providing you with that moment. Keep them tucked in your heart and pull upon them with love. May the week ahead provide you a moment such as this, a moment of joy.