14Where pools of blessing collect after the rains! Happy are those who are strong in the Lord, who set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs,Where pools of blessing collect after the rains!They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.- Psalm 84:5-7-
15The Father and the Child The highest privilege and greatest joy a Christian can ever have in his or her life is the journey toward the heart of our Father.The Father and the ChildThe Father spoke:Come, child, let us journey together.Where shall we go, Father?
16To a distant land, another kingdom. So the journey will be long? Yes, we must travel every day.When will we reach our destination?At the end of your days.And who will accompany us?Joy and Sorrow.Must Sorrow travel with us?Yes, she is necessary tokeep you close to Me.But I want only Joy.
17It is only with Sorrow that you will know true Joy. What must I bring? A willing heart to follow Me.What shall I do on the journey?There is only one thing thatyou must do – Stay close to Me.Let nothing distract you.And what will I see?You will see my glory.And what will I know?You will know My heart.
18Surely I must bring something; I do not feel prepared to travel. The Father stretched out His hand. The child knowing the great love his Father had for him, placed his hand in His and began his journey.The Father spoke:Are you ready, My child?Yes, but I have nothingto bring except myself.You are all I need.Surely I must bring something;I do not feel prepared to travel.
19Do not concern yourself with preparations. Your journey has already begun.But I am fearful.There is no need to fear;I will be with you.Will you give me what I need?I will provide for you.What will you provide?
20All that is essential for your journey. And what is essential? I will show you along the way.For now, you have what is necessary:the desire to draw close to My heart.The child spoke:Father, the journey is harder thanI thought it would be. I am weary.When My Son traveled here,He became weary also.
21Am I nearing my destination? You have come far, Why is it so?Because My Kingdomis not yet established.Am I nearing my destination?You have come far,but there are still many roads to travel.Will these roads be any easier?The close you come to My heart,the more intensely you will experienceMy love and understand My ways.You will become more concernedabout what is eternaland less concerned about thedifficulty of the journey.
22Sorrow still walks with me. She travels with you by My design. She is a carefully chosen tool in Myhand to accomplish My will for you.Sorrow has become more of a friend.I no longer fear her presence.But Joy never leaves me!She has settled deep within me.Will she always accompany me?
23She will never leave you as long as you keep your hand in Mine and let Me lead you to My heart.Then she will be with me forever –for I have no other desirethan to know Your heart.The Father spoke:And what do you know of My heart?I know that Your heart isthe only worthy destination.
24How have you learned this truth? By walking daily with You. How are your companions,Joy and Sorrow?Now that I have a betterunderstanding of Your heart,I realize that Sorrow keeps medependent upon You andJoy enables me to stay on the journey.
25You have learned well, My child. So you wish to continue the journey? O Father, I only pray thatI remain faithful and obedient.I want no other journey –I seek no other Joy.You will find Joy inloving and serving others.It is hard for me to love and serve.How can I do it with Joy?
26Father, I know I can do anything. Hold My hand tightly, My child. By taking My Yoke andlearning of Me.As long I am yoked to You,Father, I know I can do anything.Hold My hand tightly, My child.For this part of the journey,you must receive My rest andlearn to live for all that is eternal.Why must I hold Your hand tightly?
27Because I am ready to place you as a laborer in My harvest, and I do not want you tobe so busy in your servicethat you loosen your grip or let go.And how do I labor in Your harvest?By bringing Me glory.
28my journey, aren’t I, Father? Yes, My child, but there are still a The child spoke:I’m nearing the end ofmy journey, aren’t I, Father?Yes, My child, but there are still afew more roads to travel.It has been a good journey.Thank you for holding my hand.Have you lacked anything?
29No, nothing. I must confess I was skeptical that all I needed to take on the journey was a willing heart.I didn’t realize then that whenYou have my heart,You are all I ever need or want.What have you learnedfrom your travels?I’ve learned that being a childwho pleases You has everything to dowith how much I love You andhow deeply I abide in You.
30How would you describe your journey? As a journey that frees me to becomeall You created me to be –as a journey of great inner Joy.What have you learned about Joy?Joy has always been deepin my heart, but she is quiet.I’ve learned that I must bestill to hear her; otherwise,I listen to louder voices that silence hers.
31She has faithfully been with me in all of my journey – How has Joy served you?She has faithfully beenwith me in all of my journey –My trials, my suffering,my obedience, and my serving.I understand now that shealways accompanies Sorrow –but her most precious gift to me isher tears as I experience your presence.How has Sorrow helped you?
32Father, I know I said in the beginning that I didn’t want Sorrow to go with me,but she has taught me much.Without her, I would havenever wept over my sin.Whenever I was deeply hurt or grieving,she took me straight to Your heart.Without her, I would not haveknown how others felt.I would not have knownhow to love or serve them.
33And as You said, it has been Sorrow that taught me the meaning of true Joy.And what is true Joy?True Joy is knowing andexperiencing Your heart.Is there anything you wantfor the rest of your journey?In the past, I know I wouldhave had a list, Father.But now, I want only one thing –and that is to bring You glory.
34Once more, the child stretched out his hand Once more, the child stretched out his hand. The Father, knowing the great love His child had for Him, took his hand, and they continued on their journey.How do we bring glory to God?My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father. John 15:8.
35A branch connected to a grapevine produces grapes. A branch that abides in Christproduces Christlikeness.We love, forgive, serve humbly,exercise patience, show kindness,share our lives with others –all because we continuallywalk with our Lord.
36We bear fruit that brings “great glory” to God: So your light is to shine before men,that they may see the good you do andglorify your Father in heaven.Matthew 5:16.
37How do you know if you are bringing glory to God?Whenever you do something selflessly,God receives glory.You please Him when you give in secret.You bless Him when you continuallythank Him for His love, grace,goodness, sovereignty, and comfort.
38You glorify Him when you walk by faith and trust Him with allyour heart.You show Him that you love Himwhen you choose to obey and abide.Doing everything God asks you to dobrings Him great glory.
39Surrendering all in order to journey to the heart of God brings great blessing, for only in Him will you experience fullness of joy, and only in His right hand will you find everlasting pleasure.