I was at the grocery this past weekend and started to notice the first of the summer fruits starting to show up.
When we lived in Oregon, I would drive by a large fruit farm everyday on my way to the office. The sign listed every kind of fruit imaginable that the farm produced. In the cold and damp winter the trees and fields looked pretty bleak, but in the spring everything turned green and began to show promise for the harvest. I was really looking forward to the harvest season when all the fresh fruit from the vine would be available. Alas, I never tasted that fruit as we moved back to Indiana before the fruit was ready for harvest.
But seeing that fruit got me to thinking . . .
In the Bible (Galatians 5:22-23) we read about the fruit of the Holy Spirit that God wants to grow in our lives. These fruits are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. We each would like to have these characteristics, but it’s hard to always love, or be good or self-controlled when things aren’t going our way or we are tired or some one is giving us a hard time.
I have news for you. God doesn’t even want you to try to be these things all by yourself in your own strength. He wants to grow these characteristics in you. He does that when you spend time with Him. Just like you are influenced by other people when you spend time with them and become kind of like them, you are influenced by God when you spend time with Him and become like Him.
You can spend time with God by reading the Bible and listening to what He wants to say to you. You also spend time with Him when you pray to Him or when you go to a Bible Study or Prayer time at church with your friends. The more time you spend with God the more fruit the Holy Spirit can produce in your life.
So, as you spend time tending your garden, shopping the produce department of your favorite grocery, or enjoying that Indiana-grown cantaloupe stop for a moment and ponder what fruit is being produced in your life.
Take time this summer to spend time with God and ask Him to begin to ripen some new fruit in your life.
After all, we could all use a little more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
May God bring us each and abundant harvest this summer!