Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (NIV)
One day recently, I picked a large juicy orange from a tree. I held that orange in my hand and thought of the fruits of the Spirit.
I saw the orange itself being love, for it surrounds the other fruits stored inside. I thought that the parts or segments could represent the other fruits: one, joy; two, peace; three, kindness; four, goodness; five, faithfulness; six, gentleness; and seven, self-control. I stopped and found I had a piece of the orange left over. I reviewed what I had just said and found I had left out patience.
Leaving out patience was my mistake. It brought to my mind something disturbing in my personal life. I have been losing patience.
For instance, I lose patience with the backlog of e-mail that has piled up, and I lose patience with writings I start and haven't finished, but, worst of all, sometimes I lose patience with those I love.
Patience, patience, patience …: find it and we will all have peace.
God in His love has given us these fruits — including patience — as parts for us to enjoy in one body. Love and patience for one another in all circumstances, even when stress levels become overwhelming, should be a priority. We should seek a level of patience in the love God has given to us, and, in return, use it to surround one another, like the brilliant orange I held in my hand.
Romans 2:4 – Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance? (NIV)
Prayer: O God, help us to find patience to love our fellow man and those who mean so much to us. Forgive us for losing patience. Grant that those we hurt will forgive us. In Jesus' name. Amen.