JOY IN THE HOLLOW
is met in a winter hollow,
where tracks trail in, both wide and deep,
by the edge of firs on landscape steep,
and where I, with wonder, follow.
On the snowy altered tree,
and the downy bridesmaid’s hearty flight
is joined by grouse in peaceful sight,
where the woods are hushed for me.
by the marriage you impart,
declare a goodness in my while.
With a skip, I’ll go another mile,
having joy within my heart.
but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice,
and your joy no man taketh from you.
JOY IN THE HOLLOW
Those curvy, back, snow-covered, country roads with the word ‘Hollow’ in their names offer unique Sunday afternoon drive opportunities. Down roads like these, we see stands of evergreens, ponds and deer, barns and horses, homes and hovels and lowlands.
and it shall be called The way of holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it;
but it shall be for those:
the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast
shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there;
but the redeemed shall walk there:
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return,
and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy
upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Isaiah 35: 8-10
‘Hollow’ also means having an empty space within. But with Jesus in our hearts, the once empty space is now filled. Once wayfaring and foolish, there will be no continuation of such persons on the highways in Heaven. Cleaned because of faith, there will be, instead, the redeemed expressing joy. The Sunday School song rings true: I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. He, whose love is shed aboard in our hearts, also works on our heart for the production of joy and kindness by the power of the Holy Spirit.
longsuffering, gentleness, goodness,
faith, meekness, temperance:
against such there is no law.
Galatians 5: 22-23
The second fruit of the Holy Spirit right after love is joy. Gentleness, or kindness, is there on the list after longsuffering, or patience. To me, the nine fruits are like the three-persons-in-one Trinity: different, wonderful aspects of our loving Father. They are always correct and the opposites are always wrong.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
The Holy Spirit, or Counselor, lives within the heart of the believer. What does the Counselor do? He teaches us, reminds us, guides us, convicts us, tells the future, brings glory to Jesus and testifies about Jesus (John 14:15-John 16:16).
the author and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him
endured the cross,
depising the shame,
and is set down at the right hand
of the throne of God.
To the believer who is enabled with different eyes through the power of the Holy Spirit, the cross is the point of the story the Author makes. The joy set before Him is a special joy only Christ can know. It must be such an awesome joy to have endured not only the cross and death itself but also the crushing from His own Father.
he hath put him to grief:
when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin,
he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days,
and the pleasure of the LORD
shall prosper in his hand.
When depressed, read the uplifting passage of Isaiah 35 about the joy of the redeemed. When we see corruption around us and realize our own going astray, it’s encouraging to know there is a better place where we can live sin-free.
there is joy in the presence of the angels of God
over one sinner that repenteth.