By Elisabeth Corcoran
A child who proudly tells everyone they see that they are 5-&-11/12.
Knowing that you're going to dinner and a movie with your girlfriend tomorrow night.
Realizing that the skirt you've been wanting has finally gone on sale.
Keeping an eye on the calendar for that special 'grown-ups only' vacation that you and your husband are taking this summer.
What do all of these things have in common?
If you said, 'things to look forward to', you're right!
Last month I mentioned that I was working my way through the fruit of the Spirit, one fruit at a time (I guess you can say I'm a member of the fruit-of-the-month club! I know, I know...very lame.). Well, this month
I'm tackling joy. One of the online definitions of joy that I came across really struck me: pleasurable feelings or emotions caused by a rational prospect of possessing what we love or desire.
So, according to this definition, joy isn't based on what you already have or something you've already done necessarily. It seems to really mean simply the knowledge, belief, trust or hope that the thing you desire is going to come to pass. And sometimes, I don't know about you, but sometimes I notice that the anticipation of good things to come is almost as good as the actually good thing happening.
So the thing about joy that I'm really working on is that it is not circumstantial. I should simply be joyful because of all the good that is in my life already and because of the Good that is awaiting me. For those of us who know Christ as Leader and Forgiver, we should be perpetually joyful simply because we are able to be in relationship with our Creator and that we can call Him Friend. Also, for us who are believers, we can look ahead to the not-so-distant future and see glimpses of our eternity, and know that we have something more wonderful than our minds can truly fathom just waiting for us. There should be joy in that.
Even in the midst of hard mommy days, we can train our spiritual eyes to see down the road to what's ahead...and we can train our hearts to begin to desire that eternal destination in such a way that we are left unable to be anything but joyful, despite our weariness and despite our current circumstances, no matter what they are. So this month, let's ask God to fill our souls and lives with an all-encompassing, deep, real joy that can carry us through anything.
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