I say it all the time, I love water. I should clarify- I love water- when I'm outdoors, in the sun, on a beach. NOT in my basement. Let's just say- today didn't quite go as smoothly as I had planned.
I was scheduled to teach the Large Group- kids this morning.
I have been studying and praying in prep for this morning. I was up early, the house was quiet. ( I should have known something was amiss... quiet is almsot NEVER good here.) Everything was laid out last night. I was ready to go- EXCEPT, for a tree I wanted to use for part of the object lesson.
After knocking my way thru the mess by the back door, (hmmm somebody should start putting their things away)I made my way into the basement.
Good thing I did. Because, along with the pine tree (christmas decoration) I was looking for, I found a lake to complete the (kids church) outdoor theme. But- this one wouldn't fit into my car for the teaching..... Our sump -pump failed.
It's funny, how, when you're getting ready to teach something, God will give you VERY clear experiences, that will illuminate the concepts for you..... this weeks was more like and spot light illumination... than a flash light.
The Fruit of the Spirit is : Love, Joy, Peace , Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control. (Gal 5:22-23) This morning was another exercise in growing the Fruit of the Spirit in me. I am so glad, that I had been taking time to pray and be connected to God. Because, this morning- when I totally could have gone thru the roof, I felt peace. (I dont THINk it was denial;)
The basement will be cleaned up. "Things" don't matter, people do. I could be joyful- to be with the kids I had the privilege to teach- even though my basement was flooded. I was faithful, to fulfill the responsibilities that God had given- and to the commitment I have made- to teach on my scheduled days. I could love others- even though My morning had, had a rough start. I had patience- even though I felt frustrated by my situation. I had self control, and didn't freak- when I found the mess. I was able to be good and show kindness to others- and help with set-up- tear down pick-up etc....THIS was God.... Not, Tracey.
Let's face it- I have plenty of days when I'm a jerk. Today, I was prepared, because I had been spending time focused on God. I saw it as a way to be grown, not just a problem.
For the lesson this morning- started with talking about fruit. I peeled an orange, let the kids smell it. I let the juice run off my fingers and described the fruit, we talked about their favorite fruits, then I asked them if they were hungry... almost everyone said "yes." For fruit.
Part of why God wants us to have the Fruit of the Spirit- in our lives- is to make others hungry for Him. For them to see something different- and appealing.
God calls it a FRUIT. NOT a SHOW.
Here's the thing: I can read the list- then take it as a "task list" a way "to do" list. (I have tried it) And, well, I can do ok- for a little while. But then, things start to fall apart. I get annoyed with someone. I get impatient, then pretty much blow the list out the window. On my own, I can't maintain the fruit. It rots.
I took an orange- and duct taped it to the tree. I asked the kids if it was growing. "Duh. No." Was pretty much the answer. I asked what would happen, if I left it there? "It would rot. "
I've been there. trying to force fuit to grow. It does not work, not in orchards- or people. We talked about what it takes for fruit to grow- one great girl said "roots". She was right. The Fruit of the Spirit, can only grow in us, when we're connected to God. (The Bible calls it abiding in the vine) Spending time with Him, learning His word, beign with others who encourage us to grow.
Then, God give us plenty of preparation, ways to practice, opportunities to both fail, and thrive. Like rain, sun and soil- that helps fruit to grow.
Usually, I have the opportunity, to share with the kids- many of the ways that I mess up. (or did when I was their age) Today- because of God's preparing... I could enjoy sharing with them, How the Fruit of the Spirit was working in ME today.....
Which- to me- is pretty incredible. Not ME. But God in ME. Changing me, making me grow, making me more like Him. Sometimes, I think we miss the wonder of that.
Don't get me wrong- I'll surely mess up, (oh- I probably already have) again. But then--- it's all a part of the process.
Dear Lord, I pray that you'd continue to grow the Fruit of your Spirit in me. I ask you to make yourself real to the Metro-kids, to grow them as well. I love you Lord- and thank you for every opportunity to grow--- even the messy stinky wet ones. Amen.
Oh- and Lord- bless that Plumber who fixed our sump---- let the extra 100 bucks because it was Sunday... bless his family, & thnx for friends who help me with my attitude- I love you Lord!
Vicki- thnx for the reminder about the extra being a blessing- to him- it really helped my attitude;)