I am looking forward to Christmas. I am looking forward to Joy! I was in a bad way the other day. I’ve found it very hard lately to write. God made me the person I am and when I can’t be that person, I tend to get really quiet. Because of that…I can’t write.
Why was I in a bad way? Well I feel like the people who should be salt and light, well….. aren’t. We sound just like the rest of the world. Opinionated, angry, judgemental, side choosing, and prideful. It hurt, and it made me feel out of place. Even worse, since I don’t like either the hurt or the out of place feeling, I got prideful. I got angry. Those two things go hand in hand for me, and because they do, I know I am not in the space where God wants me. When that happens, I know it is time to SHUT UP, and that is not where God wants me either.
My pastor said something to the effect of who have you not shown grace to? I knew immediately who that was in my life, but I wasn’t really ready to do anything about it until I stuck my nose in the book of Joel. Such a small book in the bible, but so much for me to wrap my head around.
The land is stripped bare. There is no grain or wine to offer a sacrifice to God. Times are beyond hard, but in this small book, Joel is the messenger calling the people to repentance. “Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Joel 2:13. It’s funny….I had been thinking of how people used to wear sackcloth and ashes to reflect an inner mourning. I wanted to do that to show people, that I felt the mourning of these days. Whether that mourning was for life lost or just life as we know it being lost. What really made me want to mourn was the time lost from my own sin.
When I got to that point, God was finally able to bring me the hope in the form of His Spirit! “I will pour out my spirit on every kind of people.” Joel 2:28a
The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, gentleness, patience, goodness, kindness, self control, faithfulness. I feel like we’ve been missing a lot of this nowadays, but I know that it can make a comeback, starting with a little repentance. And if I really want that comeback, I know repentance starts with me.