Though raised in a traditional church, I did not understand certain activities that took place each week.For example, every first Sunday was set apart for testifying. Anyone in the congregation could speak about the goodness of God. I would watch from the pews as one mother would stand up and sing a hymn titled, "O to be kept by Jesus".
Over and over I heard that phrase. Upon the third time, the spirit of the Lord came in and filled the church like a mighty rushing wind. During the service, members would run down the aisle shouting and crying. For years I wondered about that phrase and the old mother who sang it. Through my personal trials, God has allowed me to understand the true meaning of the phrase. As a result, I gave birth to producing the "spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness" (Galatians 5:22 NIV) on the inside.
In the natural, a seed has to go through a maturation process. When the planter plants a seed he first considers the seed and what the seed will produce. Secondly, the planter considers the soil and if the soil is conducive for growing. Then the planter considers the climate and temperature of the environment. Lastly, the planter considers the time. " As long as the earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease" (Genesis 8:22 NIV).
As it is in the natural, so shall it be in the spirit: "Behold, a sower went out to sow. As he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately spranged up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns spranged up and choked them. But others fell on good ground, and yielded a crop: some a hundred, some sixty, some thirty" (Matthew 3:3-8 NIV).
When God requires us as women to remain in a particular season of our life we have to trust that all is well. God knows our situation. In the natural it may appear to be a mess, but God turning our mess into a message. Walk by faith and do not let the spirit of fear cripple you in losing sight of trusting God in the trial.
God specifically wanted to produce the fruit of love in me. It is the first fruit of the spirit that exemplifies God's character. God was trying to develop this first because the type of love I possessed was conditional. My love was sounding brass and tingling symbols. It wasn't until I read 1 Corinthians 13, that I truly understood what love really was. As God continued to develop me; the soil, to reproduce the love as described in the Scripture, was not conducive.
The soil was linked to a family environment infected with generations of divorce, poverty, sexual abuse, sickness, worry, fear, and doubt. This would stunt my love walk. So God uprooted me from Louisiana to Arkansas. He took me from the infected and placed me in new environment. While in the varying seasons of adversity, due to a broken and hopeless marriage, I stayed rooted in the Word of God. Hallelujah! I did not stay in one season too long. He will sit as a refiner fire and purifier of silver;he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness. (Malachi 3:3 NIV)
What season are you in? Is God trying to produce more of himself in you?
You probably already know that any fruit planted in good ground will produce over and in a greater quantity. I know it is uncomfortable right now, it was for me too. Allow God; who has deposited greatness on the inside of you bring it to pass. You have been fearfully and wonderfully made. Regardless of the season you are in, you will come out. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
As God continued to develop and pour more of himself into me, I began to look just like him. I began to love my husband unconditionally, in spite of his unfaithfulness. I was able to overlook his shortcomings and love him, as God loved me. It was not easy, but with God, all things are possible. As we continue to live we are going to find ourselves in secular races of all sorts:
A race to to have children before our clock stops ticking
A race to get married before the age of 35
A race to buy a home
A race to get our Bachelors Degree by the age of 22 and our Master's by the age of 28.
While these races may have its place in our lives, do not forget about the Christian race . It is a peculiar kind of race that is not given to the swift nor to the strong, but to the one that endures. Isn't that good news that we are not in competition with a clock, human being and society rules? As wives we are often mislead by the standards and time lines of the world. We forget that we are to live apart from the world's standards. I am excited that over ten thousand years ago, through the precious blood of Jesus Christ that I was included to receive a prize that I did not deserve. God does not call the qualified, he qualifies the call.
Remain faithful and continue to run the race because God will deliver you.Take a break if you must, do not quit. You are qualified to win. God is standing at the finish line with your reward in hand. Keep going, you will soon be singing, O to be kept by Jesus.