The fruit of the Spirit is…joy.
One year on a beautiful autumn Sunday, Jim and I drove to a church in central California so Jim could conduct an ordination service for one of his former students. As we crossed over a little bridge, we stopped and looked at the brook that flowed beneath it and sounded so pleasant and refreshing. Peering over the rail, we were surprised to discover the cause of the water’s sweet sound. We saw piles of large, jagged rocks that were impeding the water’s surface, even redirecting its path. Nevertheless, the little brook gave forth utterly joyful sounds!
Both Jim and I marveled that something so traumatic could cause something so lovely.
Yet isn’t this stream a picture of what real life is like? Our lives are filled with disappointments, crises, tragedies, heartaches, affliction, and struggles-just as Jesus said in John 16:33! But the good news is, that as we encounter disquieting rocks that impede our progress, disturb our tranquility, and redirect our path, God can give us the joy we need to produce sounds of praise to Him.