So I'm starting to wonder what I was thinking 4 weeks ago when I thought it would be a good idea to go through the fruit of the Spirit. This journey for me has been like holding a big mirror up to my face and realizing it is full of dark permanent ink. In other words, yeah I need the Holy Spirit and His fruit in my life. The trees are looking awfully bear. How do you look?
Today's fruit is patience and I am by no means an expert on this fruit. I decided that if I were to ever have another child her name would be Patience because that was the next thing I needed to learn. Repeating the word, Patience, 20 times a day keeps the concept on the forefront of your mind! So like I said patience is not my greatest strength which gives me all the more reason to lean into the Holy Spirit.
I guess the theme that has been emerging for me during this journey the last 4 weeks is SURRENDER. I do; I surrender. You grow up a Christian, read the Bible, etc and people begin to look at you like you might be onto something. It starts to creep into your mind, yeah, I am something, I've got this thing down, I know how to be a Christian. Then, you look in the mirror, the word of God, and you realize left on your own you are still a dark stained mess:
Song of Solomon 1:5-6
I'm dark but lovely,
women of Jerusalem,
dark like the tents of Kedar,
like the curtains of Solomon.
Don't look at how dark I am,
at how dark the sun has made me.
My former pastor Shane Holden does a beautiful series on the book of the Song of Solomon relating it to our Christian walk. He hits on the verses above and talks about how we are dark, full of sin, but yet in God's eyes through His grace we remain lovely to Him. My point in all of this, is we need the Holy Spirit ~ like I've said before. If you see things in me that you like and enjoy, it is only there by the grace of God living through me (Put Your Clothes On! and Uprooting a Besetting Sin talk about some of the ways I've grown). I have a few friends that say to me, "Oh, your sooo patient." Well, guess what, I'm not! Any patience I do exhibit I give full credit to the Holy Spirit on those times because He has to reign me in a lot, but I often regrettable escape His grasp and go ahead with what I want to do. We are still working on this one together.
So here is a definition of patience for you scholarly types: The capacity to endure hardship, difficulty, or inconvenience without complaint. Patience emphasizes calmness, self-control, and the willingness or ability to tolerate delay (from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/patience).
If you are like me and patience isn't your strong point, join the club. You need the Holy Spirit and like I said, He will grab a hold of you: your tongue, your thoughts, your actions if you let Him. And when you fail, you jump back into His arms and say, "Let's try it again. You go first this time."
So pull out your journals and let loose. Remember, if you leave a comment, you will get your name entered into the drawing for Sailing Between the Stars by Stephen James.