"Honey, what would it take for you to have joy?"
If you knew the history of us, it would be ironic. But the tables have turned a bit at the moment and he was right. There was no visible sign of it. Hasn't been lately. Perhaps blame could have been laid in a fountain of sources, but this morning the truth is clear. No one to blame but me.
Lately, my days are struggling for self-control, trying to act joyful, willing patience into my life and forcing myself to be kind in word and action. It doesn't feel free. It feels exhausting and it entraps my heart.
I can't force joy or any other Spirit fruit.
So today I wonder about my husband's question, until God breathes the answer...
...right there in Psalm 34 among streams of spring sun:
And I see it illustrated in Luke 7:37-38
"And behold, a woman of the city who was a sinner, when she learned that He was reclining at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed His feet and anointed them with the ointment."
She approached the door of a pharisee. She, a sinner! He, a follower of the law to a capital T!
And she goes to Jesus. Her, an unclean woman of sorts, walking in the mess of all that sin that apparently the whole city knows about.
But there is one man on her mind now. Jesus. It is him she is looking to. All that radiance. From him, covering her.
Because she weeps at his feet. She knows he is the one she needs and she breaks that flask and anoints his feet.
And she is radiant. And her face shall never be ashamed again.
A fellow blogger I "met" today at Path of Treasure wrote this:
"When the world sees one thing, he sees the other. When the world turns its face, he turns to me."
Truth, I think. The thing is, we can't see his face if we aren't looking.
And there is no radiance. Not there in the shadow. We may look good enough, I suppose, but when the manual for radiance is sitting right in front of you, who wants to settle for good enough?
So I let this sink in. Laying there, soaking it up. Confessing the hardness that's crept in, letting Jesus chisel it down again to that soft place where love and joy abound.
Where there is patience now. Along with self-control and kindness and joy. But it comes from an inexhaustible source and when I find myself beginning to harden today I drink from that fountain and I am refreshed and it is a gift. To me and to others.
Those who look to him are radiant. Take your eyes off the mirror, friends, and see his face.
Oh, Lord, thank you for grace. For your hands molding my heart. For your word that speaks refreshing truth and draws us deeper into you. Even in those days our hearts feel hard would you draw our attention to your truth and renew a right spirit within us? And may the fruit of the Spirit abound as we are led by you...