2016 is gone and 2017 is here to stay….at least for another 350 something days.
This first week has gone fast, but it also has been a week of many tears as well as some joy. On New Years Eve we were hanging out with some close friends to bring in the New Year….or at least see how close we could get to it with all our kids! And we made it till 11:30 at their house and were ringing it in when we pulled into the drive.
Well while at their house on NYE Caleb got a call that a dear friend/neighbor/land lord passed away. I didn’t believe him when he told me, cause even though she was in her early 80’s she was always full of life and seemed in great shape. But God said her work here on earth was done and He needed her home with him.
Then the following day we got a text, from one of the friends we were hangin’ out with the night before that, tell us that his wife’s dad passed away suddenly from a heart-attack. He was 64.
64 you guys!! The older I get, the more I realize how young that really is!
I also had other friends who lost loved ones or had loved ones who were really sick.
This isn’t how any of us thought we would start off the New Year. New Years is all about new beginnings, happiness, joy. In general all things good. It’s not suppose to be full of sadness, sickness and death. What kind of new beginning is that?!
What I should add in to this is that in the past week and a half I have also had two different cousins give birth to beautiful healthy babies, and I also went to the doctor and got to hear our beautiful babies heart beat once again as well as we celebrated a few birthdays of some special people. And I got to hug he necks and kiss the cheeks of some very special little ones.
Ya know, it’s easy to get caught up in all the sorrow and let it pull you down. But letting sadness encompass us only makes up more sad.
Galatians 5:22 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patients, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
As a farmer / gardener I understand he meaning of fruit. It’s the product of a plant. That could be corn, soybeans, tomatoes, green beans…..The list can go on and on. How I treat my plant with determine how it grows and what the outcome of the crop is. If it doesn’t have the right nutrients it will not grow as well or produce as nice fruit. The same goes for you and me. How we feed and treat our spirit determines how it will grow and what it will produce. Nurturing it and giving it what it needs to be a better person.
It’s not always fun. It’s not always easy. Just like there are times when my garden needs watered and I’m too tired to go out and do it or have other things that need done and choose not to water it. My choice may cost me some production loss or even my plants. If I want the fruits of the Spirit to grow strong in me than I need to do the things that help my spirit out. Like getting up and spending time in God’s Word, praying, choosing to take the steps needed to get my mind where it needs to be. So when the sad times come along I can be joyful.
Choosing joy isn’t always easy, but it sure makes life better. What also makes life better is focusing on the good things in life and not all the sad. My hope and prayer is that each of you will join me in striving to dig into God’s word more this year so we can produce more fruit!