One of my favorite memories of my visit to South Africa was planting a garden. It was my job to prepare the ground for planting. (I am no master gardener. On fact, i have a brown thumb, both literally and figuratively–but I loved every moment of it!)
My back and shoulders ached as I raked the same small patch of earth over and over making little progress. The ground was too hard. There were chards of glass, pieces of metal, bits of garbage. How could I ever plant a productive garden in this “used-to-be” dump? I remember praying in that very moment, ‘Holy spirit don’t let my heart be this unyielding. Don’t let it be thus difficult to produce fruit in my life.’ As I quietly prayed, one of the team members came up to me with encouragement for the work I had done and reminded me that I didn’t have to do plant the garden alone…we were a team.
Today, I do the same for you, brave one.
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, friend. It isn’t our job to produce it at all! Our part is to yield to his work and cooperate with him in his work. He will prepare the ground. He will plant the seed..He will produce his own fruit. The question is, ‘Will we allow Him?’
Take a moment, let him search your heart. Let him show you the weeds that choke out your joy or the chards of glass that threaten to tear it to shreds. Now let him help you do something about that. Joy is waiting…
What about you, friend? Do you strive to produce it or does it come easily for you? Any words of wisdom to share?