May 12, 2021.

Sitting on the porch this morning, watching the birds dance to and from the bird feeder and suet. It is chilly out here. The heater is on behind me, keeping the breeze at bay. My nose and face are cold to the touch and I realized that walking with Jesus is like my warm back. Walking in self is more like my chilled front.

Which explains why I am drawn to Galatians 5:22 this morning. The fruit of the spirit; the outcome/reward/consequences for leaving our sinful nature behind and walking with God. I came to Galatians 5:22 this morning because I haven’t felt much like a spirit-filled woman recently. More like a woman selecting bits and pieces from Galatians 5:20: “hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy.” (NIV) The passage doesn’t cover all I have been feeling, but you get the idea.

After a restless night, I did a self-examination of my attitude, my daily habits and routine, and took a look at myself through the eyes of my husband. I didn’t actually want to ask him to give me a run-down of life with Susan lately; that would have been brutal. My own self-analysis was difficult enough. Yikes was about as kind as I could be to myself at the moment but the good news is that a little self-awareness can bring about a lot of grace and mercy. Asking forgiveness is often difficult, but necessary in a marriage especially. Sometimes the asking is the easy part; the actual change more difficult.

The best part? Galatians 5:22 says, “the fruit of the Spirit IS…”; not “can be,” “could be,” “might be,” but, “is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness gentleness and self-control.” I’m taking great solace in that measure of mercy this morning. Hope you do, too.

As a reminder to myself, I created a note that you can also download, if you want.

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