These Are the Fruit of the Spirit... Oh, Wait! I’m Missing One!
by Carrie Dedrick, Editor, Crosswalk.com
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Patience is a virtue.
Unfortunately, I don’t have it.
I try to be patient, I really do. But I am about as high-strung, Type-A as they come and planning comes about as naturally to me as jam-packing my days with work, chores, and fun.
I was recently in a time of waiting when I was unemployed and searching for the right position for me. For nearly six months, I looked for work in a variety of industries, stretching way outside my comfort zone of writing and journalism.
But you know what happened?
I didn’t find a position on my time. I was on the Lord’s time, and it wasn’t until I stopped making this job search so much about me that the perfect job came to me.
In hindsight, I realize that Jeremiah 29:11
should have been my mantra during this time.
"For I know the plans I have you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
My husband and I are moving out of our apartment in two short months and we are faced with a decision: Do we move into another apartment? Do we rent a house? Do we buy a house? Can we even afford to do that? I suppose that is really several decisions.
I’m in a period of waiting again as we look into our options and determine what is best for us. But this time I’m going to do it right. My husband will face our decisions in prayer.
What I learned last time is that it’s not all about me. I trust that God has a perfect plan for me; he already knows where I’m going to live.
It’s not easy for an obsessive planner like me to let go and prayerfully urge God to take control of my situation. And yet, I believe that God has my best interests at heart. After all, I am God’s child, and he is cares deeply about me. My Father will take care of my situation in his time because I have humbly presented him with my plight.
Tomorrow my husband and I will go look at a house a third of a mile from our church. The house is a foreclosure and just went on the market. To us, it seems felicitous.
Ordinarily, I would go into freak-out mode and obsess to the point of not sleeping. A house would be the largest purchase of my life and there is so much to consider.
However, I am completely calm today, though it goes against my typical personality. It puts me at peace to give my worries to God; I don’t know why I didn’t do it before.
This house may be the one, but if it isn’t, that’s still okay. It won’t be the end of the world. Maybe there is another house for us that hasn’t even been put up for sale yet. Maybe there is a perfect house for us to rent or perhaps we will move into another apartment.
No matter what the future holds, God is in control of the situation. Our Lord is always with us; we are not going to slip his mind.
Major or trivial, cast your burdens upon the Lord. Then be patient. Things have a way of working out, if not they way or the in the time frame we thought they would.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
Look within and consider which fruit of the spirit you struggle with. Is it patience like me? Perhaps it is faith or self-control. Whichever fruit you are “missing,” pray for the Lord’s help as you work to strengthen it.
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