As a gardener I wait for spring. I long for warm dirt that is ready for planting. I leaf through seed catalogs, circling everything like a child with a toy magazine at Christmas time. I go outside every day to breathe fresh air even if the temperature is too frigid for the thermometer.
I can get through Nebraska winters because I know the hope of spring is true.
I think that faith in God is a lot like that hope of spring. During seasons of trial we are able to persevere because we know our hope in the Lord is true. We can feel it in our inner being as we live relationally with God through the Holy Spirit, and we feel it externally as we witness God working in the lives of people around us.
1 Corinthians 3:16 says, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s spirit lives in you?”
Well, for a long time, that was really easy to believe as a truth for others but so hard to believe true for myself. I didn’t know why or how or what it looked like to live daily with the Holy Spirit, and I felt like I was alone and missing something big.
So I decided to go on a journey with God.
The past few months, I’ve been seeking a relationship with the Holy Spirit — reading as much scripture as I can daily, asking our God tough questions, praying God would lead me closer to His will and use me for His good, and help me to be fearless and obedient.
And I can say without hesitation that God shows up for His people when they come close and desire Him in their lives. It is definitely a journey worth embarking on. However, accessing the Holy Spirit in our daily life and seeing God work in the world around us takes both practice and intentional focus.
My biggest question to God lately has been about the fruit of the Spirit.
In Galatians 5:22-23 Paul writes that “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
So I had to ask myself….Am I a fruitful woman of God?
The hard answer was … not really. I was loving, joyful and peaceful when I wanted to be, when it was easy and convenient. But in the stress of the day, in the moments of frustration, or in times of deep struggle, there was little evidence that I was living life tapping into the power of the Holy Spirit.
I was living life alone, trying to lead myself. And I was exhausted. But as children of God, that is not what we are called to be.
Colossians 1:9-10 says “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God…”
Fruitful living comes as a result of seeking God and asking Him to fill us with the “knowledge of his will” for all that we face. As we rely less on our wisdom and more on the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and guidance; as we tap into, pray, and obey the Spirit of God, we live out His fruit in our lives. Not fruit of our effort, but fruit of the Spirit of God working in us!
I don’t know about you, but I am tired of trying to live life on my own. I’m tired of trying to be a better person, a better mother, a better anything on my own. I’m done with that. That just leaves me feeling never good enough.
But God is good enough. He is perfect. And He can refine us and change us from the inside out as we give up our daily everything to Him and seek His ways.
And that is a life I want to live. I want to live fully in His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I want to give God more glory and to love my people more deeply.
And I want this to be a space where we can talk about how God has shown up for us and how He is working through us to spread love and light to our people, our community, and the world. I want to hear stories about people who are living for God, living in faith and trust and bearing fruit in others’ lives. I want to be encouraged that we are still the collective body of Christ, not just individual pieces of the church. I want to be inspired by you and your stories and I want us to testify to the God who has done so much for us.
Who knows, maybe only one person will read this and be encouraged that she is not alone in the ups and downs of faith. Or maybe God will move through this forum and we will come together as believers in Christ and lift each other up with grace and love, sharing and responding to our stories of God’s big love and living more fully as fruitful women of God.