"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23
I have been thinking about this verse. It is rich with attributes that are to characterize our Christian walk. Some you may find easier to harvest in your life than others. "I'll take two cups of joy, but hold the patience. I'm not ready for that one yet!"
A few years ago, I wrote a Bible study on this passage of scripture. I remember encouraging the reader to sow these 'seeds' and to cultivate them in their spiritual garden (their heart). In order to sow seeds, you need to first prepare the soil. When you ask Jesus into your heart, this starts the cultivating process. It gives Him permission to work on your 'plot of land.'
Picture if you will, two kinds of gardens. One is gorgeous. It has a variety of fruits and vegetables. The plants are vibrant green, and the produce is a multitude of colors. There is not a weed in sight. The ground is a rich, dark brown soil. Proper spacing is between each plant, so it has plenty of room for growth. Now contrast this, with a cramped garden space that is overrun with weeds. It is nearly impossible to see the produce plants, because of the weeds choking them. What produce there is, is minuscule and malnourished.
What makes the difference between the two gardens? They both were planted in the same soil, and both gardeners used identical plants. What makes the difference is what the gardener did to cultivate his garden, and what he continues to do as the produce grows. A good gardener will cultivate. One gardener daily continues to work on his land, while the other decides to sit back and take life easy and just wait for the results.
Today I have been focusing on faithfulness. In just a few weeks, it will mark the year anniversary of my husband's skiing accident that radically changed our lives in so many ways. I hadn't realized until today, that it had been that long since I had sorted through our receipts. They have been piling up in our kitchen. Not a week has gone by, that I haven't thought, "I need to get to those receipts."
Before I returned home from Georgia, that was one of the things on my 'to do' list. Today I'm home alone, and felt it was time to finally approach this task. Surprisingly it took a shorter amount of time than I anticipated. Isn't that how things often are? We put off doing something, and dread thinking about it, but when we jump in and finally take care of it, it takes shorter time than we thought.
I am working at being faithful in several areas - I need to address the pile of mail on my dining room table, I need to prepare for leading a ladies Bible study next week, correct school work for my son from when I was gone, and various other paperwork. Now I would love to just sit down and read a good book, or start researching for my writing project, but today I know that God has called me to be faithful in taking care of these other areas. The beauty of it is that, when they are accomplished, I won't feel weighted down by these 'things' that have been demanding my attention. I then will be free to pursue the things that I feel God is calling me to start.
I guess you could say that I am tending my garden today. I'm breaking up the soil, so the plants can grow healthy and strong.