When I wrote last weeks blog about cultivating joy I was at a place where I needed it. Wow did I need it… I had prayed and prayed about it, pressing in and desperately seeking and asking the Father to show me how. How do I begin to cultivate joy in the every day? How do I cultivate joy with what I have? I started with the gifts that He has given me. Those things that I enjoy… you know, the ones that bring a smile to your lips and make your eyes brighten? But as the week has gone on and I started there, I felt God pressing deep into my soul… digging deeper. Showing me more.
~The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together. The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road. The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy. The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes. Psalm 19:7-8 (MSG)
I felt him asking me to reach out, to do something nice for someone else. And you know what I discovered? That one of the best ways to cultivate joy is to bring joy to someone else!! I got my mind off myself, my dark branches, my circumstances, my, my, my. And I turned my focus to brightening someone else’s day. Wow!! It is amazing the places God can take us when we ask. When we turn to him in utter surrender because we desperately need him. He not only showed me how to get started, but he showed me how to press on and go deeper.
Now, I’m not saying that cultivating joy in our own lives is not important. Because it is! We must participate in our soul care. We cannot give out of an empty vessel. But once we get filled, even start to get filled, it’s so good to pass along joy, share joy, and continue to cultivate joy in and around us. Look around…it doesn’t take long to find someone who could use a pick-me-up. Can you take an extra meal to a mom who has been struggling with sick kiddos all month? Can you offer a grocery run for that elderly woman you see at church? Can you help your neighbor get his broken down car running again this weekend? Can you drop by a hospital or a nursing home to visit some of the patients? Maybe take grandma out for a walk and some fresh air?
It is up to us as His children, as disciples to not only keep our eyes on the light of Jesus, but to help others see it as well. Can you show someone His light this week? Can you help someone find it again if they have lost sight of it? It starts with a simple thing – bring a smile to someone else’s lips this week. Watch their eyes brighten at your cultivation of joy.
~And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16
Blessings loved ones,