Last week, families came to church for our socially distanced “kids club.” We sat outside and passed out chalk to each family and they drew pictures of rainbows and unicorns and the “fruit of the spirit” on the sidewalks around our church building. We were wearing masks, but we all had smiles underneath.
If there’s anything we need these days, it’s the “fruit of the Spirit.” We all long for better days, but what can we do about it? It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with the virus, the news, the issues of the day. Without God, even the toughest of us can start feeling hopeless.
Remembering the great things he had done in his early life, the apostle Paul faced the fact that they really didn’t amount to much. He admitted, “…I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” When God’s love became the center of his life, all the longings of his soul got wrapped up into one big desire: “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him…” (Philippians 3:8-10).
With God in the center of our lives, change can happen in our own attitudes, behavior, and relationships. God’s Spirit grows “fruit” in us that can be seen by and shared with others: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Read over that list again. Which of these do you need most right now? Imagine your life, your family, or the whole world filled to overflowing with those good qualities.
When we discover God’s love, we can dare to imagine a world filled with the fruit of the Spirit. Have you made room for God in your life? You can start now, right where you are. Invite God’s Spirit to grow in your soul, to bring you the “fruit of the Spirit,” and to touch the longings of your heart with hope.
Pastor Scott Lindner
Atonement Lutheran Church
Wesley Chapel, Florida