The Power of Place: 5-Day Plan

Devotional

There is nothing precious about how the fruit of the Spirit is grown in us. And I’ll say this too: the fruit of the Spirit is not grown in abstraction. The fruit of the Spirit grows from the limbs of our lives as we slowly become trees planted by streams of living water (Psalm 1:3). It is the wind of unkind words that beats against us in yearly cycles that, after it has passed, strengthens the young sapling. In the spring of the year we produce the fruit of kindness. The dry spells of despair move in and yet, somehow, we bud and blossom with fragrant joy. Again, I say the fruit of the Spirit is not grown in us by precious abstractions. It does not magically appear. No, we burst forth with patience after suffering long stretches with insufferable people. We are good on the other side of people treating us badly, we extend love to people who are mean, we demonstrate self-control as people come at us and vent their anger.




When the conditions around us are unfavorable, our first instinct is to uproot and shift over to new soil. Maybe the grass is greener, we think, and the fields yield finer harvests elsewhere. But as we stay, and as we truly learn to pray, the muck of someone else’s immaturity slowly composts and ends up fertilizing faithfulness within us. And, over time, the fruit of the Spirit bursts forth from our lives. What is fruit for? Fruit is to be eaten. It is for our nourishment. On a sweltering summer day, it hits our taste buds with flavor that makes the heart glad and the stomach satisfied.




People are the great purifiers. We grow in holiness as we honor our relationships.




Prayer


Father, thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to work within me. Please help me to stand firm where you have planted me, and give me the strength I need in order to be strong when I face trials. Amen.