I learned something that blew my mind a little bit, can I share it with you? I’ll have to show my nerdy side a little bit but I think is worth it!
It’s all started with a homeschool podcast on joy. It turns out that word the New Testament used for joy is chara and the word they used for grace is charis. They have the same root. I love languages, but this was news to me! Why does this excite me so?
Because friends, the only place to find joy is at rest inside of God’s grace. In places of grief or happiness, seasons of rest or busy, no matter what we think or feel - joy is possible through it all. It’s not something we determine to have or work at, it’s a natural result of God’s grace in our lives.
The trick is, although God pours out his grace in abundance, we don’t always open our hands to receive it. We know he covers us, but then we go and try to answer 10,000 “moms,” homeschool through a pandemic, conquer mount st(inky) clothes and teach a toddler not to throw his sippy cup all in our own strength.
I’ve been struggling with this lately! I felt like I was doing pretty well in my parenting and trying to serve and use my gifts for the Lord. Why didn’t I have much joy? I realized I was trying to do most of the momming, creating and work that I do without going to my source!
Sometimes it’s confusing to see the difference between doing things in our own strength and doing the exact same things walking in the Spirit. So how’s a girl to tell? Well, fruit.
Do your actions result in love, JOY, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and/or self-control?
Notice it doesn’t say you that won’t be tired, frustrated, misunderstood or grieved. But God’s grace-filled gifts haven’t stopped flowing just because those tough things are present. If you’re missing out on those fruit and instead feeling something more like discontent, then you and I both need to go back to our source!
How do we do that? I’m SO glad you asked. We need to go straight back to God and worship him for who he is. But please don’t stop there! Remind yourself that all those magnificent reasons to praise God, he pours those same things out on his children! It so vital that you find some time for this, even if quiet time is a luxury in your season.
I like to begin something like this: God I praise you for your mercy. I thank you that I am forgiven, help me to give mercy in Your name. Thank you for your grace. You have poured it out on me and I will show your grace to the world around me. Thank you for being my perfect Father. I am your child. I will not fear. Thank you for being the head of the church. And thank you for the body. You have given us to each other and you have gifted us for your glory. As we grow together, I pray the lost will be welcomed into your fold...
You’re welcome to start with my prayer or you could put on your favorite (truly God-centered) worship music. Just be sure you remind yourself of his goodness AND his goodness in your life. Allow the Living Water to fill you back up so you can step back into the messy world with joy.
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