I wanted to take a moment to share what God has been doing in the life of our family since we began this unit a few weeks ago. I want to stress again, that the changes we see in our family are largely due to the fact that my husband and I began to earnestly seek the Lord. When we make knowing Christ our priority and yield to His authority in our lives, God responds. For my husband, the idols of career and ambition were being laid aside. For myself, the idol of my children and their success was being put in its rightful place–which meant it was being moved out of the No. 1 slot! This blog is the fruit of those choices and is totally the work of God–not my own.
Our youngest daughter had begun expressing a desire to give her heart to Christ a couple of months ago. My husband and I have answered questions, prayed with her, and guided her in every way we knew how. But I believe what captivated our daughter and motivated her to action was the truth that God loves her so much that He took her punishment in her stead. His unfailing love, as presented in the characteristics listed in 1 Corinthians 13, will never give up and never run out on her. He gave His life for her, and she trusts Him as her Savior and Rescuer. So it was wonderful to pray with our daughter and to see the joy fill her heart when she made the choice to follow Him. At the moment the prayer was finished, her older sister grabbed her in a bear hug and a sisterhood with an eternal bond began.
In the following week, we noticed that the concepts and truths we had discussed as a family regarding love were showing up in the life of our youngest daughter. She was willfully making choices of dying to self, and putting God and others first. She was kind and compassionate when her older sister needed help. She was unselfish and giving in situations where she would normally cling tightly to her wants and desires. There have been several occasions where each family member has stared at her in awe–as she has made choices which are clearly not her normal M. O. God is at work in her. I praise Him for confirming that He is in fact indwelling her and she is now a temple of the Holy Spirit. I have seen His love pouring out through her.
As we began our second week on the Fruit of Joy, we saw some amazing truths come to light in the life of our oldest daughter. As we were sitting at the dinner table talking about the difference between joy and happiness, she essentially laid out every truth for us. We didn’t have to teach her that happiness can come and go, but joy is eternal. For our week on love, we had used a heart as the shape for the week. She immediately wanted to find a shape that would represent joy, and she came up with a circle…”Because joy has no end–it keeps going and going!” This happened before we went on the path of eternal joy laid out in DAY ONE. My husband grinned from ear to ear and teared up to see his daughter proclaiming and understanding Biblical truths. So, then a little test….last night we all had a rough night of sleep. It was one of those nights when our oldest just couldn’t get comfortable in her bed and her mind was excited and couldn’t rest. There were several interruptions, but I think she finally found sleep. As we dragged into the kitchen this morning to say, “This is the Day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it”, there was no doubt it was said with very little energy and excitement. Today, we were going to have to choose joy. I grabbed her hand and looked her in the eyes and said, “Little sister, we are going to have to fight for joy today!” She grinned. “Remember, that the joy of your salvation remains despite how tired and cranky you feel.” For the rest of the morning, His joy was clearly evident in the lives of our family.
God is at work in this devotional time we are sharing on the Fruit of the Spirit. I know we will have many times of testing ahead, and days when we don’t choose joy. There will be days when our youngest does not want to share and our oldest gets upset at the littlest things, but the seeds of Truth are being planted. The great Seed Sower is watering and shining His Son in the hearts of His children.
All Glory Be To Him!