Time, where does it go? It is here one minute and gone the next. It truly is like the sand running through an hourglass. It is very subtle and then the last grain falls. Well, with an hourglass you can turn it over and start again, but in reality, it is a one-time shot. Have you ever had the “if onlys”? I have. There were words I should have spoken in a time of need, but didn’t. There were hugs I should have given, but didn’t. There was forgiveness I should have given, but didn’t. Yes, time passed and so did the chance to make things right. I meant to, but the sands of time ran out!
Well, the only way to get pass the “if onlys” is to tear that page off and start again. I cannot take back the words or actions, but I can learn from them. It is a deliberate choice and I am the only one that can make it! It is definitely a renewing of the mind and a commitment to keep that mindset. It is amazing what we can do when we set out to do it, but we have to remember this mindset cannot be done without the Holy Spirit!
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh, for the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.”
It is a constant tug of war. It is a constant choice and it can flat dab wear you out! I cannot even attempt to do it on my own. I need the Holy Spirit to be my stabilizer. I need the fruit of the Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Notice that love and self-control are the bookends. We must have love first to carry out the attributes that follow and we must have self control to keep them together! The Fruit of the Spirit is like a well-spring within us and is always there waiting to bubble up at our command. The problem is we get so busy, we forget that blessing the Lord has given us. As I look around at the busyness of life, joy and peace seems to be lacking. We are so busy being busy we are frazzled! There are days when I tell my family, “I have one good nerve left and you just stepped on it!” That is generally when I get in a tug of war with my spirit and my flesh.
So what does the Fruit of the Spirit do for us?
LOVE gives and gives without expecting anything in return. This attribute is in the heart; search for it.
JOY – It is an attribute that is apparent whether in good circumstances or bad. It reveals our trust in God when bad things happen.
PEACE is the ability to have calmness in the midst of chaos. It is a peace that surpasses all understanding.
PATIENCE is very costly; it takes time and perseverance. It just doesn’t happen! You have to diligently choose it.
KINDNESS can only be spoken from the heart.
GOODNESS means there cannot be a compromise. We have to know right from wrong and let the love of God overflow into the lives of others.
FAITHFULNESS is trusting and behaving in a manner worthy of our Lord and seeking an integrity that can only come from God.
GENTLENESS is the attribute that enables us to give a soft answer to turn away wrath.
SELF CONTROL is the glue that holds it all together. We need it to defeat the desires of our flesh.
I truly believe that is why God expects us to take life one day at a time! If we try to bite off more than we can chew, it will choke us! We have too much to do, and not enough time to do it. So we have to prioritize the things in life that mean the most to us. We have to remember the most precious things in life aren’t things! Have you ever heard the song by Dan Hill, “Why Do We Always Hurt the Ones We Love?” Why do we do that? Words hurt! They wound and sometimes the wounds are so deep,they leave scars. Just because you say “I am sorry” does not make them heal any faster, but it is a step in the right direction. This is when our actions have to become louder than words. This is where forgiveness has to happen. Without forgiveness, the wound will never heal. We have to remember that some things in life change, but our family will always be our family! Friends come and go, but family will always be there. It may not be perfect, but it is the glue God uses to hold our lives together. When our lives fall apart, families usually are the ones there to pick up the pieces! As a family we need the love and strength to say, “United we stand, divided we fall. Now that my friends is the true meaning of family!
Note: This week there will be two songs: One enforces the words of this blog and the second takes us down memory lane! Enjoy!