There are those moments when we are sitting with friends and laughing until we can't breathe. Or when we are sitting with someone we love and just enjoying their presence and the peace that permeates. It's in those moments, where we let go of disappointments, let go of disillusionments - that we find ourselves looking outside of our own needs and wants.
Joy in our life can be something that we stumble across randomly, or it can be something that flows from our lives.
When we have Holy Spirit in our lives, when we allow Him to dwell in every area, this is what comes freely.
It's Holy Spirit that causes this to come. It's not through our own efforts or our own striving, but rather something that will flow out of us.
The love, joy, peace....
When I allow room for Holy Spirit, I can become a beacon of hope for others and they see a difference in my life. When I don't, the picture I get reminds me of the lighthouse at the end of my street where I grew up. I love this lighthouse and was always intrigued by it. I wanted to climb its steps and see what caused it to work. I wanted to know if it even had the hardware that was needed to still shine. This used to be a functioning lighthouse. It now sits on a naval base, behind barbwire fence, giving off no light. It is no longer a beacon for those lost at sea, no longer a signal for those who feel like they are being overcome by the waves.
There is a sadness about this structure. It is inaccessible and lifeless. That's what I feel like when I don't allow room for Holy Spirit. Instead of being someone who's life allows joy and love to flourish, I become introspective and discount who I am. I discount the promises of God and His faithfulness because I am looking at my abilities instead of God's ability.
One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 27:13.
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
This verse speaks to the waiting. It speaks to the times when things seem dark. When things seem without redemption. But it is only by dwelling in Holy Spirit, allowing Him access to our lives, that we walk in hope during these times.
It is like night and day. When I allow room for Holy Spirit to work in my life, to speak into my life, I see the things that He produces in my life, and my life produces so much more. My heart's focus isn't on myself, but on others. It's not on myself, but on God.
The goodness of the Lord is like the sunrise of a beautiful day. His warm rays break through the darkness that tries to stifle our life and our hope.
I love the freedom in realizing this. When we truly give our life to Christ, we can rest in the work He has done. As long as I am making room for Holy Spirit to work in my life, as long as I am spending time in His presence, I can trust that He is working in my life. I can trust in the path He is taking me on. I can trust that He is leading and is right there with me.
Even if I don't feel joy, I can rest in peace and know that the joy is coming. True joy. Real joy. The kind of joy that fills our lives and flows over so that others see it too.