Declare Your Joy!

A couple of weeks ago, I like many others was excited for Tabitha Brown’s collection to drop at Target. I was actually sitting in a meeting the morning of the release and spent a little time wandering the site and ordered a few items. One of them was an ottoman. When it arrived a few days to our home, I noticed the language on the box. It read, “STOP!” Confidential Product. Do NOT place on sales floor prior to street date.” Next to that read, “Project Joy – Drop 2.” This spoke to my spirit y’all. I immediately grabbed my phone to snap a photo. After which, I wrote a blurb in my Notes so that I could reference writing this blog. Why was I so struck? I’m glad you asked. The effort and intention that undergirded the collection had to be shipped in advance to the store in order to be staged for the release date. The instructions on the box were to be followed, otherwise, someone could potentially secure the product prior to all marketing and other vital details that accompany a drop. As I considered this analogy through a spiritual lens, I considered how often I’ve desired for the sifting to end, but having that desire prior to God’s appointed time would suggest that I’m not fully prepared for release and public consumption. Great God from Zion! Psalm 90:12 reads, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” The wisdom is in the wait.

The streets stay talking and often lying; however when we move with God and are in alignment with His plans over our lives, we needn’t worry about what others project or believe. We serve a God who will not release us until He determines the street date. No amount of manipulation can alter the course that He establishes. During the wait and as we seek His face, we are being girded with preparation to press our way. I love that the box also had the words, “Project Joy.” It was an indication to me that we don’t have to wait for our joy to align with our release. Even though the items were not allowed on the floor prior to the street date, the joy was still contained therein. As the saints would say, “Don’t wait till the battle is over, shout now!” We need not allow the enemy to trick us to believe that our altered state is only conditioned upon circumstances playing out like what we envision. Can we not trust the author and finisher of our faith to set things in the manner of His perfect will?! To what extent do we actually believe that we can do a better job than God over our lives? Nehemiah 8:10 reads, “The joy of the Lord is your strength!” As we are boxed into situations that perhaps we did not construct, may we be encouraged to know and trust that God is constructing our endurance to persevere. We may cultivate the joy of the Lord until our drop date! In this time, it may be appropriate for us to go on mute and operate confidentially while we wait on the one we have the utmost confidence in.

In this season, I cannot think of anyone who doesn’t have opportunity to water their own garden. As opposed to being inquisitive of others, may we each feel compelled to follow the instructions from the gardener who has us planted and knows precisely what we will produce. It’s not the time nor the place to spring forth as watermelon when you are being incubated to be a cucumber; and if I’m becoming a cucumber, I haven’t got time to worry about your lettuce – unless I am offering encouragement, growth and affirmation. And might I add, our joy may not present in the manner that others expect. Like the box, it might be confidential. In the words of our dear Tab, “because that’s my business.”