It's not church, it's not friendships, it's not my son, it's not my husband, it's not a new wardrobe, a new car, a new house, IT IS a book. It's 66 chapters of words that are living and active. It's the word of God, His God breathed letters put into words that have lifted my head. It's the Bible that has changed my heart. I rarely go anywhere without it and when I do, it's like when I leave my cellphone, I feel lost. It's His word, not prescription pills, not counseling that has pulled me, dragged me, carried me, walked me through my darkest thoughts, my darkest days. It is not always easy, not at all, and I don't always close my Bible with this happy I'm going to change the world or even just myself attitude; don't actually know if that has happened yet. I wrestle with sovereignty, I wrestle with joy in the morning, I wrestle with understanding or more like the lack of understanding, I wrestle with the truth, I wrestle with trust. In the same breathe I rest in His sovereignty, I rest in His joy that comes in the morning, I rest in His understanding of my heart, I rest in His truth, I rest in His trust, I find rest in Him. I am learning that it is when I stop, when I surrender my own petty actions of doing and allow God to be the "I Am" in my heart, in my soul, that's where I find rest, that's when I enrich the soil of the fruit of my Spirit. That's when my dry barren land receives water. "Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters...come to Me...come to Me...incline your ear and come to Me...seek Me while I may be found...call upon Me while I am near...return to Me" (Isaiah 55:1-7 paraphrased)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:22-23)
*Do you notice that 9 fruits are listed but "Fruit of the Spirit" is singular. Let that soak in!!*
In the days coming, there is going to be hurt, discouragement, disappointment, there will be tears, there will no doubt be laughter and joy. There is going to be stress and there will be rest. It is by no mistake that when a friend wrote about starting in the beginning and asking God, "who are You" that my Spirit stirred inside and I felt the nudge. So I have started in Genesis. I prayed for God to open my mind, give me the clarity and focus that I will need to make it through all 66 chapters. It's no mistake that I am reading about Moses and the 12 plagues, the wilderness, the stress, the lamentations, the sin. It is by no mistake that I read about Jacob. I read how he ran from his home, he ran from his God. He ran until one night, in prevailing prayer, he wrestled with God. He told God, I will not let go until you bless me. (Genesis 32:26)
I write about this, truly not to boast, I have nothing to boast about. It is only by God's grace that I can even write this, it is His Spirit that allows the words to become living and active. I am just a little sinner, a woman whose patience is thin, whose desires of the flesh win more times than not. A woman whose kindness is mostly only at the liberty of what she will get in return, a woman whose laughs at gentleness, who screams in the face of forgiveness. BUT I am a woman who with God, with His word as my sword, I am who my God has created me to be. With Jesus Christ my flesh has been crucified. I am Moses, who states "these people will never believe me, I am not eloquent, I am slow of speech and slow of tongue", Moses who delivered the Israelites out of bondage and parted the Red Sea. I am Joseph, who was cast out by his brothers, sent to live as a slave because of his brothers, and who when made king along with Pharaoh, wept as he forgave his brothers. I am Jacob who wrestles with God but continues to do so in prevailing prayer. I am Summer, who believes that the name of the Lord is a strong and mighty tower, and when I run to that tower I believe I am safe. I am a woman who calls upon the name "Abba" and in the darkest moments, moments only He knows, He comes close to my broken heart and He saves my crushed Spirit. Through His word He reminds me who I am in Him. I am strong and courageous. I am white as snow. He promises me that He makes all things new. I am reminded that faith is the assurance of things, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
Open the words that God has given you. Please do this. Open them and let those words become the attitude of your heart. There is not anything else on this earth that will quench your thirst. We are all thirsty, some of us know we are thirsty and some of us have no clue just how thirsty we are. Don't rely on others to tell you who God is, give God the chance to tell you who He is. "Come to Me"