"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." Gal 5:22-23
Joy, this is the strawberries of fruit. I could have a bowl of fruit and the only thing that seems to go is the strawberries. I know it is one of the sweetest, as is joy. I mean who doesn't want to be happy right? Although joy speaks of an emotion, it is also speaking of a state of mind.
This week is a tough one. You see my youngest children are off to kindergarten. I have four children so I have done this two other times. Though those other times have been tough, I have to tell you I am really struggling with letting the last two go. Last night my husband and I went to meet the teacher night. We have the same teacher for the twins as the others have had in years past so no big deal right? As soon as I walked into the classroom to put the bags and bags of school supplies down, I saw one of the twins names on the table. There it was, his little name of the top of a big desktop. They are going to embark on their entire school career this week. I will never have them to myself again. The tears welled up in my eyes with the realization that my kids were not going to be with me all day anymore. Well it was either that or the realization that I spent a car payment on school supplies.
I did, however, have a sense of joy along side that sadness. Joy that my babies are growing up and ready to start their school career. Joy that they are independent enough to head off to school without me. Joy in knowing that they will learn so much over the next thirteen years and hopefully go to college after that. The joy is in their future.
Just like in that example, joy is not the emotion that you are feeling, it's the realization of the bigger picture. The joy of life, isn't the new car, vacation, or state of your house, it is the joy in knowing that if we have given our lives over to Christ, we will be eternally with our Father in heaven. Our joy is in the Lord. If we really marinated on this thought, I wonder how differently we would live it out. I wonder if we would start to focus on eternity, how different would our perspective be today.
Luke 6:23 says "Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven." This passage is telling us not to worry about what we have in this world, it's telling us to focus on the fact that we will be in heaven one day. The joy is in the knowledge of our salvation in Christ. Joy is the fact that no matter how tough our circumstance, no matter what the battle in our lives, no matter what it looks like from the outside, there is something greater in our lives, which is God and His plans for us eternally.