“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” Galatians 5:22-23
How often have you sat in a church service and been told to ask for the fruits of the Holy Spirit? I’m sure, like myself, it has been multiple times. I remember a lovely cartoon I used to watch with my kids called “Benny’s Biggest Battle” and that was all about young Benny not having any self-control and it told how he managed to acquire it. For myself I used to ask for patience regular. I was a single mum homeschooling two bright, active children. I needed that patience. And I was told, when they had been particularly trying on my patience that when you asked God for something you got tested on it.
Well following on from the Beech Clump, Mere I got a revelation about how produce growing. You don’t go up to your apple tree or courgette plant and tell it to give you apples or courgettes. You know it will give them to you in abundance if you give it the right conditions. So you need to water your plants, give them the correct fertiliser, but also clear the land of weeds and brambles to help them to grow to be what they are meant to be.
So surely if we want the fruits of the Holy Spirit we shouldn’t be asking for them but we should be clearing away the weeds, finding the correct fertiliser, and making the conditions right for them to grow. And giving them lots of water.
I know I keep banging on about QEC but it is being a great help in clearing my “land” and getting rid of the clutter that has been putting weeds around the Holy Spirit, not giving Holy Spirit enough light, having the wrong kind of fertiliser, and to nurture the real me. I’ve had to learn to love and like myself, to take responsibility for how I think and feel, clear away hindrances. Through doing all this I am finding that in a lot of areas I am kinder, more patient, more at peace, and more self-controlled. And my husband is telling me he is seeing me as kinder, more gentle, and just easier to live with.
It hasn’t been an easy route finding out what has been getting in the way and keeping out the light, and would have been much easier to blame others and give them a hard time. But then that is the same with gardening. Weeding is really hard persistent ongoing work. But the more I weed in myself the more space there is for the light to get in and things to grow to a depth that cannot be shaken.
In fact more like “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drouth and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8 that Sue reminds us of in Trust
So this has left me wondering if at times we have spent more time asking for fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit and less time praying and finding out what is hindering the growth of that fruit in our lives.