The fruit of the Spirit is…love, joy, peace, PATIENCE…
Well, I was not real full of the Spirit. I was full of something else, but it was not the Spirit of God. Disappointment, frustration, anger, discouragement. I was full of those things.
I’m sure you can imagine what spilled out of me in word form when I was feeling full of those things. I didn’t want to be in my home that day and neither did any of my family members.
I concealed those foul emotions deep inside, but what came out of me was a complete lack of patience. I overheard my daughter yelling at her brother, so of course, I came into the room to yell at her for yelling at her brother. Not hypocritical, at all.
The 2nd born was banished to the basement (where his room is, lest you think I’m an absolute monster) before he got two words out. I just couldn’t deal with his energy and incredible talent of riling up ALL his siblings.
The third born just stood and looked at me wide-eyed. The fourth, is vocal about her opinions, and well, I was vocal about my feelings about her feelings. I just couldn’t deal.
Everyone was miserable. I was miserable. I wanted to have patience, but my unresolved feelings about my circumstances were causing me to lose sight of God and his goodness. I was living and operating from the world I can see, feel, hear, taste, and touch. I was not operating above my circumstances, the way God graciously enables us all to do. I was living in the flesh, not from the Spirit of God that lives in me.
When we surrender to God, he enables us, through his Spirit, to live in a way that honors him and blesses the people around us, regardless of our circumstances. When we have issues in our hearts that we have not surrendered to God or that we have not allowed him to infuse with his truth, those issues get in the way of us living from the Spirit.
I know I am not alone in having days like this. We do not celebrate these days. We try to conceal them, or we try to quickly move past them, but they happen to all of us. So this is my public confession that I fail. I want to be a good mom, but I am not perfect. I want to love my family perfectly, but I am not Jesus. He is helping me to become more like Him, but in the mean time, I live in the tension.
The real issue was and is not my lack of patience. I have all the patience I need because I have the Spirit of God. The issue was what I let fester inside of me. Instead of taking my disappointment and discouragement to God, I sat and dwelled on the disappointment. Instead of renewing my trust in God and his goodness, I embraced the hopelessness.
Don’t get me wrong. There is a time and a space to be bummed and sad when things don’t turn out the way we had hoped, but we are on dangerous ground if we choose to stay there for any length of time. I overstayed my welcome by several days, and the result was not pretty.
So in case you have had/are having a day like mine, rest in the knowledge that, if you follow Jesus, you have everything you need to have a great day TODAY. You have the Spirit of the Living God inside of you. You have the power to overcome and rise above your circumstances. Give God the junk in your heart and he will replace it with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control. Not a fair trade, but it’s a good trade in our favor. Thank you, Jesus.