Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Fruit (10/10/05)
TITLE: How Fresh is Your Fruit?
By Doreen Hammond
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
If you asked me that question the week before last, I would have said, it was perfectly ripe, firm and ready to eat. But up until last week, I had been pretty consistently reading and praying and taking care of my spiritual self. I had to be. Work has been very stressful and I really want to be a good witness. Then, came this last week that another lesson in humility was about to unfold. I would now have to say that my fruit has not just gotten over ripe, that would be from sitting out and not being used; my fruit has actually gotten squashed, stepped on and is practically unsalvageable.
Thank God, that He is able to distinguish the difference between the rotten and the salvageable pieces, you know, the parts inside that you can’t seem to live with any longer? The parts that just make your life stink? Our attitude, our sarcasm and our language is supposed to be our witness for Jesus. The fruit of the Spirit is all we have to show the world, our Jesus; like a billboard. Sometimes I do a good job being a witness for Christ and I do encourage other saints in the area. Like iron sharpening iron, we encourage each other. Except last week, I was more isolated than I have been in a long time and it seems I was like a sheep separated from the flock for some reason. So, my fruit began to sit out and rot.
Last week, I was not such a good witness, but I think that the Lord uses times like these to show me what is really in my heart and what fruit I really need to prosper in my life and what fruit has gone bad. Sort of like a fruit salad, let love be the bowl, toss in some joy, stir in some peace, put it in the refrigerator for some longsuffering, top with some kindness, sprinkle some goodness and faithfulness and serve with gentleness and self-control. That is how our life is supposed to be, but not last week; not for me. I was good to get out of bed and get to work, let alone have peace. Actually, I was not in the refrigerator which is why my fruit went bad. Sometimes, rebellion comes in and I refused to participate in God’s plan. I had no longsuffering or self-control, or peace in my week.
I know that if I would just be still and let God work on me just a little bit, He could clean the rotten fruit out and make the ripe fruit prosper. Once the rotten fruit is cleaned away from the fresh ripe fruit, people are drawn closer to the Son which is the whole point in life anyway. I am thankful that God is gracious and forgiving and able to reconstruct, because only He can recover any ground that I lost last week and I know that it will be with the fruits of the Spirit that others are won to Christ and who knows, maybe someone needed to see the human side of me? It’s ugly, when it’s squashed, stepped on and unsalvageable but when the Lord comes in to clean things up, things change and get ripe and firm and ready.
Ps 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! NKJV
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