The Fruit of Joy

This last week I was out in my rain garden. Seeing what needed to be tended to. And as I was surveying new life rising through old growth, trying to determine what was supposed to be there and what I needed to pull, an old hymn came to mind. I wasn’t exactly sure why, as it doesn’t have to do with gardening. And yet, maybe it does.

One thing you should know about me. Green, although my favorite color, will never be used to describe my thumb. I am clueless when it comes to gardening. But I’m striving.

Someone whose thumb I consider green has told me I have a lot of weeds in my rain garden. I’m sure it’s true, but everything in there blooms. Everything produces color and looks pretty to me. So I have no idea what needs to be weeded out. I look at my garden and smile wide. Completely oblivious to anything that should prevent me from doing so.

Later that night, when I realized the poem never left me, I began to see where my heart was leading. And I thought I’d share the hymn/poem with you today, on this Music Monday. I’d love to know where it takes your heart, too.

I’ve shared one of these Olney Hymns before. “The Waiting Soul” In this post. This is another one of my favorites from the same collection:

“The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength
by: John Newton, 1779, from Olney Hymns, vol. 1, hymn 42

Joy is a fruit that will not grow
In nature’s barren foil;
All we can boast, till Christ we know,
Is vanity and toil.

But where the Lord has planted grace;
And made His glories known;
There fruits of heavenly joy and peace
Are found, and there alone.

A bleeding Saviour seen by faith,
A sense of pard’ning love;
A hope that triumphs over death,
Give joys like those above.

To take a glimpse within the veil,
To know that God is mine;
Are springs of joy that never fail,
Unspeakably divine!

These are the joys which satisfy,
And sanctify the mind;
Which make the spirit mount on high,
And leave the world behind.

No more, believers, mourn your lot,
But if you are the Lord’s
Resign to them that know Him not,
Such joys as earth affords.

How about you? How have you found joy? How do you share it with others who might still be looking? I’d love to hear. and I’d love to hear what tugs at your heart with this beloved, old hymn. 

Sharing a glimpse of my joy with gifts of thanks.

  • God’s peace can guard my heart (Phil 4:6-7)
  • 13 years of marriage. And my cup still runneth over.
  • All of the Anniversary and birthday wishes this last week. You all blew me away. Thank you.
  • My now 4-year-old son’s love of board games. I’m considering calling Guinness about how many games of Mouse Trap we played this last week.
  • God wants me to truly know Him (Hosea 6:6)
  • Perennials. I’d be lost without them.
  • God’s love knows no bounds (Hosea 14:4)
  • Finding a church to call home.
  • Having a neighbor who is an avid gardener (a hidden blessing)
  • God is still doing things we wouldn’t even believe! (Habakkuk 1:5)
  • Smartwool socks on a cool, damp morning.
  • I don’t have to be perfect for I am perfectly loved.
  • Trader Joe’s soyaki sauce. Yum (when used sparingly).
  • God blesses those who sow…not reap.
  • I have the ability to radiate life (Luke 11:36)
  • No one. Not one. Can rob me of my joy. (John 16:22)

What joy have you found today? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

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36 thoughts on “The Fruit of Joy

  1. Good morning friend! What a lovely list of blessings – He is GOOD indeed!!

    I am not a gardener persay, but I’m slowly getting into it. My hubby loves weeds that flower {except for dandelions!} and I can never tell which is a plant and which is a flower. I have learned that many perennials are considered weeds, which is why their leaves don’t look as pretty as annnuals :)

    • Oh, but of course. I guess weeds would have to be perennials to come up every year, wouldn’t they! I don’t know why I’ve never thought of it that way. Well, I love them regardless. and it’s a natural rain garden, so I think they’re perfectly accepted. However, I’m seeing an opportunity here to share some time with someone wiser, bending down sharing dirt. Besides, I love learning new things, so this year will be the year! :) Thanks for sharing with me, friend. You always make me feel better ;)

  2. My deepest joy is Jesus. Not trying to sound cliche, but it’s the honest truth! I never knew it could be like this!!!! Despite all the “stuff” that tries to steal my happiness and peace, this joy He brings overrides all. Surrendering wholly to Him is the most fulfilling thing we can do!!! Blessings, dear friend!

    • Yes, Marianne, I wanted to go on and on with what God showed me while bending low in the dirt He created, but decided another time. I couldn’t choose which one to share :)
      Thrilled you stopped by today–thank you!

  3. Yes, there is nothing more to mourn, abiding in His love — even in the sorrows of this world. Thank you, sweet Nikki. Love your heart — can picture you in your beautiful garden, loving it all — all that He has made. {I don’t have a green thumb either!} I love how you bask in His delight. Bless you!

  4. Nikki…I love you can look at your garden with joy. Congrats on your anniversary…Blessings and many more years of faithful love to you.

  5. i am the same way! my mother-in-law has a glorious green thumb and she will always come through on requesting and tell me what to pull and what to keep. yet, i have a hard time, i don’t like pulling things seen as weeds yet bring forth color and joy. i could enjoy your garden with you, we’d both me cluelessly smiling :)

  6. Another fantastic post. You have a real gift to not only *express* joy, but also *share* joy with others. Such an encouragement to read these posts and be reminded of such awesome spiritual truths!

    Loved all of this, but your “joy list” really spoke to me. Especially these thoughts:
    God’s peace can guard my heart (Phil 4:6-7)
    God’s love knows no bounds (Hosea 14:4)
    God is still doing things we wouldn’t even believe! (Habakkuk 1:5)
    I don’t have to be perfect for I am perfectly loved.
    God blesses those who sow…not reap.
    No one. Not one. Can rob me of my joy. (John 16:22)

    Thanks for sharing your joy!

    • And thank YOU for taking the time to share with me and bring joy! What grace that He supplies enough joy for all of us. it’s simply waiting to be found. I’m striving to seek…more and more every day. For He never disappoints!

  7. Lovely pictures and what a gift that you can remember such wonderful hymns full of His truth…I am also grateful for perennials…smiled when I read about Mouse trap as we too have gone through that stage…grateful for His loving encouragement today…thought of you as I wrote today’s post bc if I recall correctly, didn’t you teach piano? Hugs, dear one :)

    • Oh, I have a hard time forgetting any music that has touched me at some point. And that hymn has! A lot of those Olney Hymns have. Amazon is now selling a published version of them and it’s been sitting in my wishlist for over a year. I hope to get my hands on all of them again sometime!
      You have an amazing memory! I got all excited from the second I saw your picture on your post :) I’ll be over to read it again and comment soon. Love to you, friend!

  8. Love the words of John Newton, especially enjoying that first stanza. My joy really is in Him, from Him, with Him. Apart from Him there is none, I know for sure. My daily joy is in enjoying the day. That day. Each day. Family, friends, church, the lovely weather, whatever that day holds. I forget, often I forget. But, in Him, I am reminded of the little things that make up JOY.

    • I’m so thrilled to hear you take the time to enjoy the moment you are in, Krissi! For every moment is a gift with joy simply waiting to be found! So grateful you stopped by today and shared with me. Thank you!

  9. Beautiful flowers. I am always amazed and the riches he teaches through nature. Silly of course, he made it all, so why wouldn’t he use it so lavishly to explain more of him to us? That was a gorgeous poem. Think I’ll be thinking on it all week.

    • Thank you for sharing with me, Court! You’re right…why are we so amazed when He uses what He’s made? Hmm…I’ll be thinking on THAT all week! Glad you enjoyed the poem. It has so much truth tucked away in there.
      Thrilled you stopped by (and I prayed for you and that pesky migraine!)
      All for Him,
      Nikki

  10. I love the reminders here… it seems that God would have me know today… and remember that He alone can satisfy…

    I remember you had an anniversary… but how did I miss the birthday part? Or was it your son’s that you are talking about?

    Anyway… Happy Blessed Birthday to whose birthday is was :)

  11. I loved reading this hymn by John Newton. What an amazing person he became by God’s wonderful grace. “But where the Lord has planted grace; And made His glories known; Then fruits of heavenly joy and peace Are found, and there alone.” I love the way God makes even the weeds beautiful. And he can do the same with us. Thanks for a beautiful post.
    Joy

    • Thank you, Joy. I love this hymn, too. Such truth in every stanza! He does make something beautiful out of us, doesn’t He. To think we began with dust… Thanks for sharing with me, friend!

  12. I saw on FB something that said, “I may not be perfect, but Jesus thought I was worth dying for.” That says it all, doesn’t it? :-) I have found so much joy in that this past year. I feel like I have been reborn! :-) I hope you had a beautiful birthday and that God blesses you with many more years of love, health and happiness! And, happy anniversary!!!! We will celebrate 16 years in a few months. Wow. I do not have a green thumb, but I am really trying this year. The kids and I have started a whole lot from seeds and I am nursing them like they are my little children, lol! It is still cold here at night, so every night they come in. I even re-potted a couple today! I am getting there. Many blessings to you, my friend! :-)

    • Thank you, Lisa, for sharing with me! I love that — Jesus thinks I’m worth dying for. That is worth clinging to for sure! Congratulations on the 16 years! that is worth celebrating indeed! and I wasn’t that clear in my post–it was my son’s birthday we celebrated. He’s not a “big-boy” 4 year old :) Hugs to you, friend!

  13. Beautiful list of thankfulness. My family laughs at my black thumb especially since they all have such green ones. So I say if you like it, it gives your job why get rid of it. :) For me if its a live and it doesn’t harm me. LOL

    • Oh, so that’s what I have–a black thumb! :) Thank you for showing me it’s okay to like what’s not harming anyone else! :) My son loves to pull the dandelions and make bouquets out of them. why would I want to squelch that joy by killing them? :)

  14. I love how you leave your mind and heart open to see where the Lord is leading you. There is such a big lesson in that.

    Congratulations on 13 years of marriage!

    Thank you for linking up!

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