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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Understanding the Fruits of the Spirit - Patience

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Understanding the Fruits of the Spirit - Patience - By Donna L Young


Does God really bestow His Holy Spirit among believers? According to Scripture He does."While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word." (Acts 10:44 NKJV)
I am a believer, but I am not Patient!
Even though I called myself a Christian, attended church and wore a cross necklace for most of my life, it wasn't until I fully surrendered my life to Christ in my adult years, I noticed the activity and presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. Before then, I was apprehensive, worrisome and anxious. But God allowed situations to teach me patience as I opened my heart to the work of His Holy Spirit.
A perfect example
On one occasion, while enjoying warm drinks with my five-year-old son at a local coffee house, a group of six men entered the store dressed in suits and ties. This was an unlikely situation for our small town. I figured the men were either from a church congregation or employed with the County. Since one of the men appeared too young to be a County employee, I concluded they were from a church.
I hadn't taken much time to dress nicely or do my hair or make up that day. It was a weekday, mid-morning, and I was alone in the coffee house with my son. Both of us were dressed casual. Perhaps the men in this group thought I was an unemployed, unwed, single-mother. A few of them looked over at us repeatedly as they stood in line to order their drinks.
One of the men standing in the group at the counter and I had made eye contact. As he walked by our table he looked eager to speak with me. He began the conversation by asking where I was from. I told him I lived locally. I then asked if his group was part of a congregation. He said they attended the Kingdom Hall a few blocks away from the coffee house. When he asked if my son and I attended a church, I told him that we attended the Calvary Chapel down the same street. The man stopped the conversation and stared at me with a look of disappointment as he walked on by. I felt rejected and judged! My past insecurity and anxiety began to well up within in me, along with a desire to avoid this man and the rest of his group whom walked past our table. Yet, as God would have it, we were in a small coffee house, so the men sat huddled around a small table in the corner only a few feet away.
My son and I remained at our table another ten minutes before I felt the Holy Spirit in my heart say, "Please pray with this group of men." So, I ignored my old instincts and told my son what I intended to do. He became excited. We walked over to their table and I said, "Excuse me, I don't mean to bother you, but would you mind if my son and I prayed with you?" The man, who I had spoken with minutes prior, swallowed his bite of food and quickly responded, "That won't be necessary." He didn't bother to look up or even make eye contact. I was taken aback. For almost two years, not one person had said "No" when I asked to pray with them, so I thought I must have heard him wrong. Out of disbelief, I said, "I'm sorry?" He simply repeated, "That won't be necessary."
What did I do?
Even I was surprised by my reaction. The old me, would have allowed the negative response and the embarrassment felt to color my perception. Surely, some form of sarcasm or put down would have easily have flowed from my mouth. However, this time, I felt the Holy Spirit instantly calm the sting of rejection. Instead, I said "Okay, God bless you," and turned to leave. Drawing further attention to the situation, my young son, innocently and very loudly, asked, "Aren't we going to pray with them?" Still, I patiently took my son's hand, placed it in mine and softly said, "We can pray for them in the car."
I was being taught PATIENCE!
Initially, I interpreted the coffee house story as God's way of leading a group of men into a deeper relationship with His son, Jesus Christ. These days, I am more convinced that this occasion was to help me understand the Fruits of the Spirit. I was being taught Patience.
Donna L. Young graduated from Liberty Baptist University with a Masters Degree in Theological Studies and is the Author of the book "Apologies from a Repentant Christian." To learn more about this author, please visit: http://dlouyoung.blogspot.comArticle Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Donna_L_Young Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6222076




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