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Fullness of Joy

It is wonderful to be able to share another post from my mother, Lorraine. I can testify to her quiet joy over many years of sacrifice for her family. I hope you find this post to be a special New Year treat and reminder of where our hearts need to be in order to produce fruit for Christ this year.

 Is it possible to live a joyful life at home, even in the hectic time of bringing up a family? The Lord certainly says it is possible! In John 15 Jesus says that He has told us certain things so that His joy may be in us and so that our joy may be complete. How does this joy fill us?

In the illustration of the vine and the branches we see that the joy is not something we can manufacture or get by our own effort. The Lord says that the joy comes from abiding in Him every moment of the day. We cannot have His joy without His life or His abiding presence. When I surrender all to Him and simply let Him work in me, trusting that He has saved me and will produce His fruit in me, I am abiding in Him and then His joy will be in me. In my family life this means sharing the whole day with Him, seeking His way in my relationships and walking constantly in repentance and humility. I need to quickly repent when I sin in family relationships, bring my sin to Him and let Him change my heart. Then I will have His joy. It will just surprise me and well up like a fountain which I cannot stop unless I stop following His way in my life. Many times I have experienced the fullness of this joy when circumstances have been far from easy and all seemed too much for me. I remember getting up in the night to my chronically ill second child and calling out to God for strength and direction. Suddenly He was there again! His joy was welling up from the presence of His Spirit, comforting my weary mother’s heart. What joy!

 When I live the life of a branch with all my heart, I have His joy in all its fullness. On a day when life seemed full of dirty nappies and crying children, to know that the Lord loved me and that He was producing that love in me to pass on to my family and to pour it out on others was the source of true joy and He kept me going when I wanted to give up.

In the home we can daily celebrate that joy and love by worshipping Him and expressing thankfulness for all He gives us. Daily have a thanksgiving time for all the good in your life- this will bring joy as you see the Vine producing fruit in your family! Thank Him that He is producing the fruit of the Spirit in you as you rest in Him.

Enjoy the simple things the Lord has given you each day. Take a short time out from the chores to look at a ladybird or a butterfly or a flower. Smell the flowers and grow a garden with your children if you can. You will see the Creator at work! Going outdoors gives you a different perspective on life and the Lord will lift you up in your spirit as you marvel at His creative genius.

Joy seems an impossibility when you are tired out from being up in the night to a baby or when you can’t conquer the mess in your house because of exhaustion, but the Lord says that in being a branch of the vine, resting in His love, calling out to Him for help, giving up self in love to bear fruit for Him, you will have fullness of joy! 

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