The acts of the sinful nature are obvious...hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy... But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:19-23)
Good things have happened in the last week. Sunday I attended a new church. I think “our church” is now “my former church.” What a relief. For the first time in months, I listened to the sermon without meditating on the failings of sr. pastor. I heard God talking to me about Himself and me.
Here’s what I heard: you are not bearing the fruit of the Spirit, mp, you are bearing the fruit of you. Nursing anger and wishing for disharmony at your former congregation comes from you. Let Me live in you, and I will fill your heart with love, peace, and patience.
Ouch. And thank you. And let me think on that.
Evenings tend to be difficult for me. Along about 9:00, the kids have been in bed for a while and I can feel pretty blue. I settle on an old recording of unhappy thoughts -- what if? why didn’t he? why us? will this ever be over? Urgent to escape that unpleasantness, I take a moment to select some distraction: eat something (good feelings), watch tv (mind numbing), read a Psalm (reassurance), go to bed (escape). Of these, reading a Psalm is the one that takes a fair bit of discipline. I do not choose it most often because it doesn’t involve escape. Praying = thinking & feeling, two things I’m basically trying to avoid.
Last night, as it happens, I made it through Psalm 37. It was reassuring, challenging, painful & hopeful. Am I the only one who finds this difficult?