This morning at Bible Study, we reflected on the second-listed fruit of the Spirit, that is joy. As we continued our series of lessons on these Fruits, one of our residents put a little picture on our tree to represent the fruit of joy. Ironically, it was a piece of watermelon (which does not really grow on trees). This morning, we talked about how joy comes from the Holy Spirit, even amidst the challenging times of life.
As I walked out into the hall, after concluding the session and helping put things in order, I was met by one of our apartment residents. She proudly showed me a small collection of potatoes she had harvested from our little bathtub garden.
I was elated, and went around the building, showing off this “fruit” of our labors. The potatoes’ harvester saw me and said, “You’d better be careful; you’re beaming too much!” What an appropriate postlude to a scripture study on joy!
Scripture, itself, alludes to this connection between harvest and joy. Isaiah 9:2 says “You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing; They rejoice before you as people rejoice at harvest…” We pray Psalm 4 at night prayer, saying “You have given me greater joy than they have from an abundance of corn…” Furthermore, Psalm 126 (which we also pray from time to time) says “Those who go forth weeping, carrying sacks of seed, Will return with cries of joy, carrying their bundled sheaves.” Today, especially, I can relate.
Although the potatoes were fairly dirty from their former place of residence, they produced joy. So, in our lives, amidst the “dirt” of struggle and challenges, we can reap a joyful harvest in our labors in our Lord’s vineyard.
Sr. Christina M. Neumann