One of the gifts of living close to Washington DC is getting to see the cherry blossoms in their peak bloom. I recently had this privilege. It is a surreal experience. The beauty is breathtaking. It is like a tiny piece of heaven on earth. But for most of the year, the trees look pretty normal. If you didn't know what kind of tree they were, you wouldn't think twice about them. However, once a year we get to see just how amazing these trees really are. This got me thinking about the Holy Spirit. You and I are ordinary people. But every so often, the fruit of the Spirit blossoms in our hearts and we get a taste of the beauty that God wants to bring out of us.
Galatians 5:22-26 puts it this way, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other." That's some beautiful fruit!
Here is the exciting news: The fruit of the Spirit is always inside of us! Even in the seasons of winter when we can't see it. It's still there, just waiting to bloom. Just waiting to flow out of our hearts. If it is always there, how come we don't always see this fruit in our lives? Other things in our hearts can block this fruit from shining through. Fear is probably the most obvious blocker. A heart full of fear just isn't going to bloom. It stays locked in self-protective mode. Resentment is another formidable blocker. A bitter spirit is like frost to the cherry blossom. It can kill the blossom before it's beauty shines forth. Fortunately, you get to choose what to nurture in your heart. You can focus on fear and resentment and your heart will never blossom. Or you can focus on staying in step with the Spirit and all the fruit of the Spirit will shine out of your heart in one glorious bloom.
I would invite you this week to focus on the Spirit. Keep in step with what God is doing in your heart. Let the gentleness, joy, kindness, and love of the Spirit flow out to others. Let go of fear and bitterness. Trust that God is with you. God will provide for you. God will meet all of your needs. Let the goodness of the Spirit fully blossom in your heart. And then soon you will become a little piece of heaven on earth. Others will seek you out because they feel the love of God in your presence.
May you allow the beauty of the Spirit to blossom in your heart this week.