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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Joy (05/18/06)

TITLE: Down in my heart (i)
By Sarah Johnson
05/21/06


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In Sunday School, I learned that I had joy down in my heart, followed by the love of Jesus down in my heart. As a seven-year-old, I knew instinctively that this was followed by a ďyeah!Ē and usually jumping of some sort.

I still have the love of Jesus down in my heart, but the joy part doesnít seem to always bubble out of me. On bad days, I am grumpy and passive aggressive. On normal days, Iím just well, normal. Joy just seems too perky, too out of touch with reality. Joy seems like it should be reserved for cheerleaders or Christmas elves or sweepstakes winners, not me.

I was thinking about this when I was planting my little garden last week. I donít even have a yard, but the idea of a garden called to me. My random assembly of odds-and-ends containers is on the patio with an equally random assortment of flowers and herbs. The marigolds look so happy and sunny next to the tiny pink flowers with the spiky leaves.

Gardens, I realized, take work. There are requirements Ė like soil, water and sunshine. My marigolds do not grow just because I will them to, they need to be planted, cultivated and cared for.

I think joy is like this too. Paul lists joy as the second fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22, right after love. The manifestations of the Spirit are not random bubbling ups of the Spirit, they are fruit. Fruit, just like my little garden, takes work to grow. Itís like the Holy Spirit is the seed inside of me, but in order to get joy to come out of me, it needs care and cultivation.

The growing part, of course, is a mystery. I canít explain exactly how or why my flowers open and stretch their pedals toward the sun, nor can I explain exactly how the Spirit within me will form an attitude of joy. I am pretty sure that I know my part.

My part is to call of the love of Jesus, the same one that is down in my heart today and was down in my heart yesterday, and ask Him to help me find and grow the joy within me.


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This article has been read 446 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 05/25/06
A wonderful lesson, well-written and down to earth (where those marigolds grow).
Helen Paynter05/27/06
Lovely devotional - I could see this piblished somewhere. (or even published!!)
Marilyn Schnepp 05/31/06
A nice devotional that is short and sweet and right on target. Nice job.