Monday, April 23, 2007

Getting Picked On.

This is just a germ of an idea that is beginning to form in my head.

The Spirit is the One Who gives us godly fruit, as listed in Galatians 5:22,23. "For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control." These things are given us to serve the world. They are some of the means through which God does His work through us. All Christians pray for more fruit. All of us want our "branches" to be heavily laden. But to be in the orchard of the Lord is not all sunshine and bees. It means a harvest. It means pruning.

My guess (based on my own experiences) is that the two fruits most prayed for are patience and self-control. We all want things, good things, godly things for good reasons...right now. We all want more self-control so that we won't do stupid and harmful things to ourselves and others. But it always seems like, just as we pray for these things, that is the time when they are most in demand. Thousands of hands and situations reach out and pluck from us all the patience, or self-control, that we have. Sometimes it seems like the very branch is being plucked off. And maybe it is. Maybe God is at work in His orchard in response to our prayer.

The thing is, we wince when the fruit is then put to use in serving others. What did we think, that it was supposed to be for decoration only?

O God, help me to glory in being a tree whose fruit is useful to Your kingdom. Pluck away.

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