Sometimes I am so struck by the wonderfulness of this walk with Christ. Like, wow, what a great plan!
This past Monday, we got a whole van-load of boxes, and, knowing that was the day’s plans, I mentally rolled up my sleeves and prepared for this task of packing. I reviewed my strategy, but I also gave myself a little pep talk. The house will seem like a disaster, said I to myself. The kids will get cranky at all the wrong moments. They will unpack boxes you just filled, and will rip tape off the boxes you thought were so well sealed. Those amazing little houdinis. Tempers will probably flare, and tensions will run high, and you’ll have to remember that it’s just a season, and soon it will be over. And you’ll have to work hard at kindness and patience — more so than usual.
And that’s when I was struck.
I saw, in vivid color, as though for the first time, that kindness and patience are a fruit of the Spirit — and the Spirit will still be active and moving in our lives, even during this topsy-turvy month!
I literally teared up, and my heart just burst with happiness and relief. I can have love and joy all the time.
Love, joy, peace — they are not fruits of routine, order, and a good night’s sleep.
Against such there is no law — not even the laws of chaos, exhaustion, teething babes, and tight budgets can keep the fruits of the Spirit from growing in a willing life.
Suddenly I’ve found myself murmuring to myself —
— when it’s only 9am, and two kids are crying and whining and I’m just so tired: Joy is not the fruit of rest; it’s a fruit of the Spirit.
— when I trip over the crying baby who’s trying to climb up my [moving] legs: Kindness is not the fruit of tranquility; it’s a fruit of the Spirit.
— when little hands are reaching for me, a boy is getting into trouble, a dear husband calls his need for something, and I can’t do it all at once: Peace and love are not the fruits of manageable moments; they are fruits of the Spirit.
And if that’s true, then there’s nothing about right now that makes those fruits an impossibility. In the middle of these boxes, in the midst of any tears, above and through and in all the pressures and demands, we can experience:
love. joy. peace. patience. kindness. goodness. faithfulness. gentleness. self-control.
See what I mean about the wonderfulness of it all?