Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sheltering in the Orchard

Sometimes we grow impatient in our lives when we don't see the spiritual growth we would like to see. Spiritual fruit...doesn't grow overnight. It takes time.If I were to plant a peach tree on Monday, I could scarcely expect to enjoy fresh peach cobbler on Friday.                                                                                      ~Greg Laurie

Emily was picking up some groceries in between classes. RB gave her his bank card and said, "Get Mom some fruit." Yes, I know I'm spoiled!  RB knows that if there's fresh fruit it's much easier for me to stay away from the sweets I shouldn't have.  The raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and Concord grapes made me feel loved!

Photo by Emily
Don't you sometimes wish we could buy the fruit of the Spirit?  Buy some self-control in a capsule?  Pick up a gallon of gentleness while you're buying milk? Order a side of peace at Applebees? 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22, 23)

For some of us who cut our teeth on this all-telling orchard-gold, we can find the succulent fruit losing its taste.  I can hardly wait for the first good peaches of the season.  But as the season wears on they start to taste mealy, and turn an odd shade of yellow-orange.  In our spiritual life we often find the same thing happening. 

Photo by Emily
We love, yet our love is conditional. Our joy diminishes as our time with God becomes stale and routine. We find our peace seeping away when we get our eyes on people instead of God. Our patience wears thin when other's ignorance stalls our plans. We find ourselves too hurried to be kind, too uncaring to show goodness, and too overwhelmed to be faithful.  We forget to be gentle--patting a small child's head, listening to the same story over and over by an elderly and lonely friend, speaking softly to an irritating person.  We overeat, speak too quickly and share gossip instead of exhibiting self-control

The fruit turns mealy, rotten spots form, and soon the lack of this spiritual fruit become obvious to not only God, but many times to others:

In our text messaging
In our facebook rants
In whispers behind another's back
In closet eating
In sloppily prepared teaching
In the dread in our hearts when it's time to meet with God
In the way we speak to our spouse and children
In our thoughts 
In the comparing of ourselves to others.
In the tenacious hold of positions 
In social class snobbery. 

When we're in the Word, listening to God's voice, walking in light and striving to be more like Jesus, our fruit grows in abundance.  I'm determined to keep my fruit tree trimmed by the fruit tree Master.  I'm praying for dead leaves and rotten fruit to be pruned. And in the pruning I want a renewed determination to be attentive to the fruit in my life. Growing always in each season. 

Help me, Lord, to look at others through your eyes.  To respond with love, gentleness, goodness and kindness to those I associate with day after day. To have patience with all people--not just the "lovely" ones. May the joy of the Lord flow through me and peace fill me.  May I be temperate in all I think, speak and do. And may the Holy Spirit check me when I'm careless. Amen.

30 comments:

Colleen said...

So much here to think on today. The cultivating of the fruits of the spirit must be a life times work. This post is a beautiful encouragement to keep striving for these good things in ourselves. Thank you.

Sarah (Nikki) said...

beautifully written....great message....and I agree with Colleen that cultivating the fruit of the spirit is a lifetime job....some days are better than others....

Modern Day Disciple said...

I am with you on praying the dead leaves and rotten fruit to be pruned! Sweet post!

Denise said...

Much wisdom shared here.

Tracey M. said...

I am so glad I read this post! I had a rough week with a few days of condemnation for some lack of fruitful living going on ... and truly see the need for some deep soaking time in the Word. So encouraged by what you wrote - my "fruit" gets so mealy and rotten when I'm not FRESH in His Word! Thanks for sharing this!! May God bless you with a wonderful harvest of fruits of the spirit. ♥

BelovedBomber said...

I need the nourishment and water that the Spirit gives that I may produce the good fruit. Trusting for His continued help that growth may abound! Thank you and many blessings!

Mary Ann said...

What I would pay for a huge capsule of self control!! And you are so right when mentioning texts, whispers and Facebook. Great post Pamela! Lots to think about:)

Jedidja said...

Thank you for sharing. This is where I am struggling with. Life with God, fruits of the Spirit ... I fall so often and rise up again.

I say Amen to your prayer below the blog. Glad to read it today.

Sharon Evans said...

Wonderful post Pamela, I needed to hear this - self control! Thanks for sharing your prayer, Amen to that as well.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Beautiful post. Thanks for sharing.

Jocelyn @
http://justalittlesouthernhospitality.blogspot.com/

Jody Lee Collins said...

Pamela--JUST TODAY I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me about 'putting on Christ'. The fruit photo says it all, "The fruit of the Spirit only grows in obedience."

Great write!

Kaye Swain said...

Amen and AMEN - such a wonderful analogy of these encouraging Bible verses. Thank you!

Anita Johnson said...

I loved this post from the opening quote by Greg Laurie to your closing prayer for the ability to see people through the eyes of God's love. Wonderful.

Maple Lane said...

Hi Pamela, A lovely post and I especially love the prayer at the end. May your week be full of blessings. Mildred

Buttercup said...

Thanks so much for stopping by Buttercup's. I hope you will visit often. So enjoyed visiting your blog.

Beth said...

Thank you for stopping by to visit me. Your post is beautiful and I san Amen!

The Jones Family said...

Really a great post and so very true. It really went right to my heart. Thanks for visiting my blog and following along. I am now your newest follower as well. Have a blessed week!

✿ chica said...

Teu blog é lindo, cheio de mensagens maravilhosas e que nos fazem bem! beijos,chica

Susie Swanson said...

Wonderful message and inpiring..Thanks for the comments on mine..Susie

Susie said...

Pamela, Sometimes kindness seems to more rare. I truly try to do my best each day...I am not good in traffic,sad. thank you for commenting on my site. I love the beauty of Penn. Smiles, Susie

bettyl said...

Amen! Even fruit has to be tended to stay fresh and good.

Betsy Adams said...

Great post, Pamela. I think having patience in our lives is one of the hardest things for us to have... I just talked to a good friend who is trying to sell their home. She's so upset --and I just kept telling her to pray and ask for PATIENCE.... It's never easy.

Love the Fruits of the Spirit. I taught a Bible Study once with that theme.

Hope you have a great week.
Hugs,
Betsy

Debbie said...

I read this post yesterday morning but didn't have time to comment. I am glad I remembered to pop back over today. This was just a great post! Can't tell you how it blessed me and made me think. It is just all soo true. How easy sometimes we'd like everything to be. But sweet, ripe useful fruit takes time and effort to develop, and of course it is true of His fruit too. But at the end of the day time spent cultivating this fruit is the time best spent. Thanks for sharing all this! Have a good week!

Ashley Ditto said...

Wonderful post!!

Gina said...

Love this post! Thank You for stopping by my blog:) Your a wonderful writer!

Dionne said...

Amen! I have taught my children the fruits of the spirit and a song to go with it. We all love it in my family. Hope you have a blessed week.

Shannon said...

WOW...you know it's amazing how out of nowhere, you leave a comment on my blog today (I think you might be a new reader of mine), and then I pop over here and I am just blown away. This post TOTALLY is what I NEEDED to read...to hear...to internalize. You see, I've been in a spiritual rut, grieving for two years now. Staying in the Word is HARD for me. But how you've so eloquently written this makes it seem doable. It makes me CRAVE to have all of the fruits of the spirit. And you are right, when we are IN the Word, striving to be more like Him, our fruit DOES grow abundantly! Thank you for this post! :)

Ruth said...

I appreciate your analogies. In this day and age when the importance of fruit is touted so often, it's a great comparison to the necessity of our spiritual fruit being cultivated so others are given nourishment through what He is producing in us.
Thank you for the sweet reminders.
Blessings.

Working Mom said...

I never really thought about my social media being a window to the Spirit! Thank you.

Linda said...

Beautifull, thought provoking writing - Bless you
Linda

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...