I have so much to do! The breakfast dishes need to be washed, there’s that juice stain to be scrubbed out of the carpet, I have to run those three packages to the post office, take Don’s shirts to the cleaners, get groceries...
“Did you hear that?” Peace asked.
“I heard it alright,” said Patience.
“Oh – here comes another one.” Peace covered her ears to muffle the sound.
...and I can’t forget to call Laura. She’s been bugging me to go to lunch for two weeks. But there’s no way I can go today with everything I need to do. Scratch the call; it’ll have to wait. But I really should call Cathy and see how her mother’s doing. Oh, but that pile of laundry – it’s not going to wash itself! Lord! How am I going to get all of it done?
“Well, my job’s finished,” Stress said with a smirk. “I challenge any of you to top that!”
Peace frowned and looked over at her friends, Patience, Joy, and Hope. Joy was smiling, unable to help herself.
“She’ll come around soon,” Hope offered.
“Not if I have anything to do with it.” Irritability scowled. “Get out of my way!” Irritability pushed his way through.
Why can’t Don – just for once – bring his own shirts to the cleaners? And why can’t the kids rinse their dishes before putting them in the sink? Are they completely helpless? Geesh! I’ll need sandpaper to get the cereal unstuck from those bowls.
“Am I good, or what?” Irritability folded his arms across his chest. “Stress may have started it but I’m the one who clinched it.”
“Well, it aint over yet!” Anger hollered. “Watch this!”
“Brace yourselves,” Peace said calmly, covering her ears again.
I have to do everything around here! I’m practically a slave in my own home! Maybe I’ll just leave Don’s shirts in a heap and let him take care of them for a change. Maybe I’ll leave the dishes for the kids. Then they’ll finally appreciate me. I am so taken for granted. There are only so many hours in the day! I can’t do it all!
Peace spoke quietly. “Come on, Sharon, be still. Get it together.”
Confusion spoke up. “Sorry to stir your waters there, Peace, but it doesn’t seem likely that Sharon will be getting anything together... except her luggage. I predict that soon she’ll be taking a little trip – to the loony bin. Or maybe divorce court - I can't decide.” Evil laughter echoed through Sharon’s mind, courtesy of Stress, Irritability, Confusion, Fear, Contention, and Anger.
“You guys never learn, do you?” Peace shook her head. “You constantly underestimate the Power.”
“Yeah, well, you know better than anyone that I'm always ready for a good fight. But do you see that Ghost around here anywhere?” Contention made a big show of looking around Sharon's mind. "‘The Power’ apparently isn’t interested. Looks like we have this one in the bag!”
“I won’t argue with you, you know,” said Peace with a smile. “But I will say, listen carefully. Another thought is coming. She waited with Patience for it to break through.
I’m so sorry, Lord. I don’t know what’s wrong with me today. Help me to be still and know You’re God. With your help, I’ll get the things done that need to be done. Please give me patience - and joy - to get through the day. But most of all fill me with Your peace.
Struck by awareness of their defeat, hateful, desperate, and angry voices screamed, colliding in the dark, making one last attempt to regain the upper hand on Sharon’s mind. But to no avail.
And then the wind came. Starting as a gentle breeze, it grew stronger and stronger until Stress, Irritability, Confusion, Fear, Contention, and Anger had to struggle to hold on. Before they could lose their grip, they simply gave up and fled, their faces ugly and contorted in their own expressions.
The wind died down, leaving a calm and gentle wake. In the enemy's absence, the fruits of the Spirit grew and ripened. Each one stood tall and proud, ready to be harvested.
And Peace filled Sharon's mind, then overflowed into her heart, where she now resides...at least most of the time.
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