I wonder if you remember what you were doing last year at this time… I remember clearly.
I have never been so sick for so many days and weeks and months. The kind of sick where you can't get out of bed and you wonder if you will ever be the person you used to be again.
It was in March that I was led to someone who could help my body finally begin to heal. It's been a long journey…one that has required a lot of submission. New eating habits, new exercising routines, and new sleep patterns.
It's easy to do those things for a couple days…maybe even a few weeks. A 90 day challenge. You've probably done something like that before.
It's hard when someone tells you this is the way you will live. Forever.
Getting better has required giving up.
Giving up bread, and chocolate, and cheese. No more late nights. Careful exercise.
The good news is, it worked!
The bad news is I haven't eaten ice cream for one whole year.
Do you know that my favorite breakfast is vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips and raspberries?
And I haven't eaten that once. Not for twelve months. Not even one spoonful.
Until Saturday night.
I walked into an ice cream shop with a group of people all in the mood for dessert. I never eat dessert now days, so I put myself in charge of saving a table. Don't be sad…I love good company just as much as I love ice cream.
But then an amazing thing happened. Greg yelled over from the front of the line, "I think you can eat this! No dairy, no sugar. Coconut milk and your choice of fruit. Should you try it?"
I won't lie…my heart jumped right out of my chest. Ice cream. I never expected to eat it again.
I. Ate. The. Whole. Bowl.
And I didn't get one bit sick.
Oh, the joy!
It was in that moment that I remembered this principle… we don't have to lower our expectations for joy. In time, good things will come.
We should expect it.
The same is true of the Spirit.
The scriptures testify time and again of the active role the Lord longs to play our lives. As Solomon prepared for the great task before him the Lord replied, “Ask what I shall give thee.” (1 Kings 3:5) The Lord wants us to turn to Him. But even more importantly, He plans to respond.
We can expect it.
In times of turmoil, in moments of indecision, on the days when our heart is heavy, He expects us to receive inspiration. It is an invitation that comes with responsibility ––He doesn’t just want us to pour out our soul with a heartfelt plea, He expects us to receive His reply.
God loves us. Why would He not send us answers, comfort, direction?
Why would He not want us to find joy?
I wonder….are you up for a challenge?
Could you prepare your heart to hear the Spirit in the ways we have been learning this year? Then try to recognize the inspiration that pours into your mind and heart in unexpected ways throughout the day. Every day. For this whole week.
Try to remember this principle… we don't have to lower our expectations for joy. In time, good things will come.
We should expect it.
We will be led to those good things through the whisperings of the Spirit.
Those moments might come unexpectedly.
But they will come.
This week expect it to be so.