A Promise and A Gift
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law.”
Galations 5: 22-23
The moon hung low this morning, a thick crescent perched just below the frame of my bedroom window. I’ve been trying to get up earlier lately, a “habit” I fall in and out of. Knowing how much smoother my day will go when I do get up early enough to have some quiet time of prayer and study you would think I would always do it. But, sadly, you would be wrong and there are lots of times when I get up only after the baby is awake and giggling, cooing, and instigating a full-on Hulk Hogan style wrestling match. But this morning, that charming, dashing little moon gave me a wink and a nod, and I left Mark to face Ben’s morning attack mode on his own, slipping downstairs where I’ve spent a quiet couple of hours with a cup of coffee (or three…who’s counting?) and the book of Galations. Today I read chapter five, which ends with the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control. I read each word again and again, turning them over in my mind, slipping them into my pocket like smooth creek rocks, treasures to keep close. I’ve read these words before, and more often than not, merely felt like a failure. They seemed a long list of admirable character traits that I don’t usually possess at all, much less with any spirit of abundance. Left to my own devices, I can be an ungrateful grouch. I certainly can’t manufacture feelings of joy, peace or gentleness. I might just as well try to make a tree, or a butterfly, or a cloud. But this morning, I was gently reminded that such things don’t come from me through any tenacity of will or effort. They come as a promise and a gift from my Creator. The same hands that hung the cheerful moon that beckoned me this morning are the very hands that will take the messy, broken, selfish heart that is mine and shape it into a heart overflowing with love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control. It’s a promise I am learning to believe and a gift I long to gratefully and wholly accept.