Responding with Joy
I love all the seasons of the year for different reasons, but my favorite time of year is definitely fall. The cool, crisp mornings, the decorations, pumpkin flavored items (yes, I’m one of those people)… And the thing that tops my list? The changing of the leaves… It’s like a feast for the eyes! Rich shades of yellow, fiery hues of red and orange, and on certain trees a deep pigment akin to the color of eggplant.
It struck me, though, today as I was driving through residential streets, feeling a bit giddy as my eyes took in the beauty of the changing leaves to my left and my right, that what I was perceiving as great exquisiteness was actually the end of something…the closing of a chapter. The trees and plants are not dying per se, but they are preparing for a transition into another season of their life.
This made me wonder…am I, in the midst of change, a transition, or even a trial or tragedy, to display that same kind of exquisiteness that the leaves do? As the Holy Spirit leads me, shapes me, and guides me, am I to demonstrate a kind of beauty that will leave others speechless?
I believe so. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,…” James 1:2 Pastor Mike walked us through this scripture last week. This verse clearly states that we are to consider our trials—whether a transition in our life, a change, a difficulty, or a tragedy—with joy. In fact, it says with “pure joy”! And have you ever observed the countenance of a person who is filled with true joy? Sometimes it is breathtaking!
This last week has been one of the most difficult weeks I have faced in quite a while. I feel like the difficulties that popped up in the natural were direct attacks in the spiritual realm…an aimed response to obedience and following through in ministry opportunities the Lord has recently provided. But as I am left with my earlier contemplation, I’m forced to examine whether or not I faced these things with the kind of joy that would take someone’s breath away…
Today, let’s take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit to help us examine our responses to our situations. If we have not been responding with joy, let’s ask the Spirit to fill us with His joy and see our circumstances through His eyes.
FBC Aztec Member