“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. –Galatians 5:22-23
When in the slowest grocery store line, or when behind a very slow vehicle on 270, what is your general attitude? When your order at your favorite restaurant and it takes an hour and a half for the food to come out of the kitchen (true story – happened to us on Mother’s Day!), what is your general response?
Patience? Not me! I am going to have to let the Lord grow a lot more of that in me. Because patience is one of the fruits of the spirit – and one of the outward signs of Christ in our hearts.
Sadly, growing in patience, or any of the fruit, is not about fake it ‘till you make it. It’s not about waking up in the morning and saying, I am going to be one loving, kind, patient, unexpectedly joyous person today! You won’t make it past breakfast. It’s not about our hard efforts. It’s about connecting to Jesus. As we spend time connecting with Him, his fruit will grow in our hearts. And as those fruit grow, well, we’re going to start to look more like Jesus. Which is an amazing thought.
As a kid, whenever my grandad caught me hiding in the barn with my nose in a book when I should have been outside playing (or doing chores), he would shake his head and say, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”. What can I say? My Mom started her career as a librarian. (She never went anywhere without a book in her bag.)
So that’s my prayer for each of us: that the fruit of the spirit, even patience(!), will grow in our lives. After all, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.