26 Dec A season of peace and joy
By the time you find yourself reading this article, I can assure you that we’ve celebrated several different seasons.
It all started back on Oct. 1, when even though Arkansas was insisting on hanging onto the sauna-like summer heat, inevitably pumpkin spice EVERYTHING went on sale. I hadn’t even had time to test out my new pumpkin spice scented deodorant when suddenly it was the last day of the month and we were celebrating Halloween.
Then you go to bed, hopefully with a belly full of candy if you’re lucky enough to still have little trick or treaters at home who believe that ol’ “checking their candy” story.
You wake up Nov. 1 to Christmas carols and find all the stores in town are suddenly ready for the holidays! I’m pretty sure that at the stroke of midnight on Oct. 31, everything pumpkin spiced magically transforms into hot cider and candy canes. Seriously, if you aren’t paying close attention, you could almost forget we still have Thanksgiving smack dab in the middle of all the holiday chaos.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the celebration of all the seasons as much as the next gal, but I truly believe it’s important to have yourself grounded in all the “fruits of the spirit” beforehand or you may catch yourself caught up in the chaos. So what are these “fruits” I’m speaking of?
They are found in Galatians 5:22-23 and consist of nine attributes – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I can honestly say that the more time I spend with Jesus, the easier it is to keep myself rooted in these fruits. That is important because these qualities are always in a constant battle with the confusion of worldly measures such as – successes, failures, talents, faults, wealth, poverty, titles and appearance.
I decided quite a while back that I was much more likeable, to myself and others, when I quit chasing after worldly measures and started pursuing after the things that held eternal values, things such as those fruits of the spirit I mentioned earlier. While all go hand in hand, two of my favorites are peace and joy.
You see, celebrating seasons can have different meanings for people. It can be the passing of one holiday (and crazy Arkansas weather) to the next, but it can also be the different seasons of life which you are facing with those mountain tops of happiness or the valleys of despair. Either situation requires massive doses of joy and peace to hang onto your sanity.
Joy and peace come from a place deep inside you; it’s something that you can’t find anywhere but through Jesus. It’s a confident feeling and knowledge that no matter what happens, you believe that “all things work together for those who love the Lord…” and you know God’s got this!
So if you’re reading this and wondering how to get your hands on some of this peace and joy I’ve been telling you about, take heart! We have some really helpful truth and skills to survive this daily grind.
And lucky for us, you can usually grab your cell phone and search any piece of scripture you need clarity on. (I personally still enjoy the good old fashioned feel of looking things up in my Bible and writing them down in my journal.) It doesn’t matter how you do it, just that you do it.
After all, these fruits of the Spirit are wonderful and never spoil, no matter how quickly the seasons seem to change.