JOY for the World - Part 2
Welcome to The 9 Now! A weekly series revealing a view into the 9 Fruits of the Spirit. During this series I will share a Word of Encouragement of how the intentional decisions we choose to respond with, impact ourselves and others. I invite you to post a comment, quote, or scripture that would encourage others, from what you have learned or wish to share. Our decision to live in the Flesh or walk by the Spirit, is a choice we must all make daily.
Many years ago….
There once was a traveler whose goals were to experience all things, know all things, and have sound judgement at all times. He desired to know how he would have a sense of well-being during difficult and hard times. The man scoured the ends of the Earth, seeking all forms of knowledge. One day while returning from a voyage, he came across the town elder in the valley near his hometown. The traveler had a great deal of respect and admiration for this elder, and soon found himself in another deep conversation with him. As they talked, the traveler inquired on whether the elder believed he had experienced all things, knew all things, and had sound judgment. The elder, standing with one hand on his chin and the other around his waist, began to ponder the question.
“While you are very knowledgeable, you do not know all. There is one in this land that you have not yet met. You must seek out the man called Mr. Ful and only he can help you fulfill your quest. You can find him in a small village, near the top of the hill three days North of here.”
So, the traveler began his three-day walk. About two days in, he met a young lady whose name was Ms. Ness. This young woman was very pleasant and filled with life. The traveler explained to Ms. Ness that he was on a quest to obtain all the knowledge in the world, but there was one, Mr. Ful, that held the answer that he still sought. Ms. Ness asked “What is it you seek?” He responded, “I desire to know how one can have a sense of well-being even when life is difficult and hard.” Ms. Ness stated, “I know the answer to that of which you seek.” Delighted, the traveler was relieved that he may not have to travel the remaining distance to find the one they call Mr. Ful. But suddenly he remembered the elder’s words, “you need to speak to Mr. Ful.” The traveler responded to Ms. Ness’ remark, “I must continue on Ms. Ness, for only Mr. Ful can fulfill my quest.”
“What you seek, I too can offer. When things are difficult and hard, you need only to find what you need to bring a sense of well-being. I can teach you this.” Intrigued, the traveler continued the conversation. Ms. Ness began to explain that when times are difficult, or if your sad, frustrated, angry, you need to find the thing(s) that can pull you from the distress. For some this can be achieved by acquiring new possessions, while others may seek new relationships, and yet others just need time alone. The traveler agreed that Ms. Ness, while very kind and helpful, was not who he was there to see. He again recalled how his friend, the elder, explained that only Mr. Ful could help him fulfill his quest. So he parted ways with Ms. Ness and continued on his journey. On the third day, nearing the base of the hill where Mr. Ful lived, he found himself nervous and excited. All his life he had been waiting to achieve his life dreams. “What would Mr. Ful say? Had I wasted my time? Did Ms. Ness have all the information I needed and I left her without finding out?” troubled, he thought to himself. Just then, he heard the creaking of an old wood door just around the bend. As the traveler approached the door, he greeted the man and asked, “Excuse me sir, are you by chance Mr. Ful?”
“Yes, I am, I am Joy Ful. But, please call me Joy. All my friends do, and considering the distance you have traveled to seek me out, you are surely my friend.”
“Thank you sir!” exclaimed the traveler, “I have traveled over three-days to ask you a question.”
“Yes,” inquired Joy. “I have lived my whole life trying to experience all things, know all things, and have sound judgement, but the elder told me that only you could help me complete my quest,” said the traveler.
“Aw, the elder, my dear friend. Since you have not shared your name with me, I will guess it. If correctly guessed, you will see the validity of my response to what you seek.”
“Ah…AH…I am sorry, how rude of me, my name is----”
”WAIT!” exclaimed Joy, “I wish to guess it. But, before I do I want to share something with you. Along the way I am guessing you ran into a close personal friend of mine, Happi Ness, although she prefers Ms. Ness. If I know her, she tried to convince you that she had the information you needed and could save you a trip from seeing me. Well, did you meet her?”
“Yes, and it was something like that,” stated the traveler. “Did she tell you that she could help you during the difficult and hard times?” responded Joy. “Yes,” said the traveler. “Then why are you here?” asked Joy. “Because the elder explained I needed to talk with you, so I continued on. It was a journey, but I am hopeful you can help me with my quest”
“I can,” exclaimed Joy. “Will you?” humbly requested the traveler “You already have the answer,” explained Joy.
How could this be, the traveler just met Joy and the only thing they talked about was Ms. Ness. “Happi Ness, she’s the answer?” asked the traveler.
“No,” Joy softly responded. “Then what,” the traveler sharply asked. “The elder told you to travel to see me and you did. You have the answer. You have all the knowledge you seek, the experience you desire, and the ability to make sound judgements. You see, when the elder asked you to seek me out, you did. That’s obedience. When Happi Ness intercepted you along the way and almost convinced you that she had all you needed, you trusted the elder and continued on to find me, as the elder requested. That’s trust. You found me because you trusted the elder and because you sought after me. I was not really easy to find, but I am able to be found. Your quest is complete. Now, may I know guess your name?” “Sure” explained the traveler. “You are Wisdom, and because you found me, you have all that you need and your desires are met. You will have a sense of well-being during the difficult and hard times. That my friend, is why they call me Joy!”
Dear Friends, thank you for joining me today as I shared this allegory with you all. As was revealed in the story, we see that Joy is not hidden from us, but must be something we all seek. During his quest, the traveler came to find out that happiness was not his answer. Joy, along with obedience and trust to the elder (God), allowed the traveler to find that contentment through Joy during the difficult and hard times, was his answer. Joy, the second Fruit of the Spirit is an attribute that we can only truly receive from God. The Love we spoke to in the last edition of The 9 NOW, is what spurs us on to accept the gift of Joy from God.
"fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." - Hebrews 12:2-3
I welcome you to encourage others by sharing a comment, quote, or scripture. I pray this was an encouragement for you!
The next fruit we will be Peace, stay tuned.
Until next time…
Chris Hewitt, the WOE Writer