This week I'm digging into the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). I need reminders — lots of reminders — to embrace the spirit's gifts and let them guide my outlook and my behavior. Please join me in these prayers...
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.John 15:11
I woke this morning to furry puppy love, a sprinkling of stars, and soft, fleecy cloud fingers stretching from the southern sky. You poured joy into my I'm-not-a-morning-person walk. And when I thought I was content all the way up to my eyeballs, I rounded a corner to — gasp — gaze upon a full and glowing pearl of a morning moon. You filled me to overflowing.
Lord, help me to always be on the lookout for your gift of joy. Help me to see it in the small and insignificant routines. Help me to discover it in the unexpected. Help me to turn setbacks inside out and find your joy woven in the detours and downturns of my days. In the dastardly digging dog, muddy up to his armpits... a silly, licky, laughing bath. In a frustrated homework session with my growing-up girl... an opportunity to embrace and celebrate confusion in route to learning. In driving forgotten (!!) shoes to school... catching my son laughing, confident, social and comfortable in his classroom.
Lord, I choose your joy over depression, over foul frustration, over dark and stormy skies. Some days it is the tougher choice. Some days my grasp on your goodness slips. Help me to be disciplined in a grateful attitude, a humble heart, a mind set on your righteous will and your perfect way. Help me to trust in your goodness, which often looks so different from good fortune by earthly standards. And when I grab hold of your joy, help me to magnify it. Show me opportunities to share it with others. Grant me opportunities to spill this joy and glorify you.
May you be surprised by joy in unexpected places today. And may it spill forth from you onto all those lucky people in your midst.