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Joy in the Gifts

Kern familyJessica Kern, Elder for Children and Students

Philippians 4:4 is pasted to the wall in my kitchen as a constant reminder that God has a plan for me each and every day, and that He has called me to rejoice in each circumstance that I face. Each morning, I am reminded to find joy in being in the kitchen at 5:45am with my kiddos, and being present for them as they make their lunches and eat their breakfasts.

To find joy in my daughter running over a rock on Highway 40 (taking out the transmission), and the fact that she has to speak with the policemen and accept a ride to school, all by herself.

To find joy in the carpools, the making of meals, the laundry and chores, the visiting of family, the sorrows of lost pets and of lost family members, in the challenge of balancing work, school, and play time for the family, and in watching my children grow and spread their wings.

I also find myself seeking out the joy for which God has naturally 'wired' me. God has made each of us differently, and what brings someone joy may not look the same for everyone. For me, having a house full of people and feeding them automatically brings more joy to my life. Hiking with my family or with a friend brings me joy. God uses the way he made me to serve others and to bring more joy to my life. When I make it a priority to seek out activities and opportunities to serve, this helps to fill my cup, and helps me to find the joy in both the mundane and the challenges of life.

In Galatians 5:13, Peter calls the church of Galatia to use their freedom in Christ to "serve one another with love." We are free from sin and shame in Christ, and free to love and serve one another with the gifts that God has given us. He has given each of us gifts, things that we are good at or enjoy, and has given us freedom in Him to serve others with our gifts (1 Peter 4:10). As a church, we are full of different people with different gifts, and we are called to use them "with zeal" and "with cheerfulness" (Romans 12:4-8).  

Take a moment to think about how you can find joy where you are in your life right now. Also to think about where you can seek out more joy. What acts of service bring you joy? How can you make time to pursue activities and circumstances that bring you joy?  

Ultimately, may we find all our joy in Him, His good gifts, and our service to Him.

"This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!" Psalm 118:4

Many blessings to you,
-Jessica Kern