Spring is upon us and what better time than that of sunshine and new growth to take a step back and check our gardens. Not our real gardens. Personally, if you were to come to my house to check my garden, there would not be one. If there were one, there is a pretty good chance that nothing would be alive. God did not give me a green thumb, and I'm okay with that. I can take care of people – husband, kids, family, friends, co-workers – but for some reason watering a plant just does not come naturally for me. So lucky for me, we are not checking our real gardens. Instead, we should be taking a look at the seed that was planted when we accepted Christ into our hearts.
So picture this: you gave your life to Christ, God sent you the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit brought a seed to plant inside of you called the Fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."
God gave us a list of nine fruits that would be produced in our lives, with help from the Holy Spirit, to reflect a life with Him. As you read the individual "fruits," picture each one as a seed, or a sprout, or a blooming flower in your own garden.
Love: Are you giving love to people whether they deserve it or not?
Joy: Are you able to find joy regardless of your circumstances?
Peace: Do you have a peace within? One that surpasses all understanding?
Patience: Are you able to stay cool, calm, and collected when life throws challenges your way?
Kindness: Are you being kind? Are you serving and meeting other's needs?
Goodness: Are you seeing the good in others and experiencing the goodness of God?
Faithfulness: Are you devoted to others and to your faith in Christ?
Gentleness: Are you giving grace and forgiving others?
Self-control: Are your earthly desires controlling your life? Or are your decisions Spirit-led?
So, how did your garden look? If you're like me, I'm sure you could see some seeds that are blooming and others that need some TLC. Like patience – oh, my poor little patience seed. Here is what we can do to tend to our gardens:
- Water these seeds with truth and living water from His Word.
- Pray and ask God's Son to shine on us, asking for His help.
- Thank God for the work that He will do, grooming and blooming our gardens.
When Jesus was preaching the Sermon on the Mount, he told the crowd "You will know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:20). My prayer for us as women of faith is that we will go out into the community and be known by our fruits. Let us be loving, kind, and patient people that are gentle, faithful, and have self-control to show the world the joy, peace, and goodness that can come from a life with Christ.