“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fruit of the Spirit: Partly Inspired By Your Blog...


Today is my 200th Post. I cannot think of any better way to celebrate it than celebrating my reconciliation with a dear sister-in-Christ!

"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and
there remember that your brother has something against you,

leave your gift there in front of the altar.
First go and be reconciled to your brother;
then come and offer your gift."
Matthew 5:23-24 NIV

What if you were a "stumbling block"... and didn't know it? How can you "go and be reconciled"?

On October 20th, I completed the last day of homework on the study of patience. Beth Moore ensured that we were well aware of the Greek word makrothumia which is the quality of patience found in the fruit of the Spirit. "The word means 'long-suffering in respect to persons' and is inspired by mercy. Mercy is fueled by forgiveness..."

She encouraged us to ask the Lord to "reveal the names of any whose hearts are hindered because of us" so that "fruit would result." I wrote a quick prayer in the margin. ... help others forgive me so that they can bear fruit!

Of course, I forgot about my little prayer. Until the other day...

On October 22nd, one of the gals I volunteer with shared that she had been weepy that day. Due to circumstances we could not finish our conversation. On the way home, I kept reminding myself to follow-up with an e-mail offering a compassionate listening ear if she was so inclined.

On the 23rd I did send the e-mail... and on the 24th... the Lord answered my prayer...

Here are a few excerpts from the e-mail I received from this dear sister... with her permission...
Please know that I’m not in any way trying to infer that you have caused me pain or problems. I just sense I’m supposed to break down some walls that keep me held back and laying myself out there seems to be the next step. My honesty is partly inspired by your blog, too btw.

...and I’ve spent time wondering, off and on (ok, pretty much whenever I have run into you, or something random brings you to mind, which is often enough to be called ‘regularly’) what exactly happened. So here I am pouring all this out, knowing that you may be feeling totally on the spot, as if you need to now reassure me of this or that. I hate that thought. So why am I going to push ‘send’? It comes down to 1) I just feel I was supposed to share without any expectation, 2) I believe I can count on you to be honest and 3) Just in case my insecurity actually came across as lack of interest, I wanted to let you know that was not the case.
And some excerpts from my response...
First and foremost... I treasure you! Thank you for trusting me with your honesty. All I can say is... "Wow!" I remember how we used to get together when you first moved here... we were building our friendship... and then something happened... and it was if we could not go back. Yes, unknowingly I did interpret your insecurity as lack of interest in our friendship.

And so Wednesday night when you were talking I felt a little jump in my spirit... maybe this is why I am here... for you. But I realize now... it is for me. I am sorry for the years we have been apart, but perhaps God had a reason in it all. Now, we can move ahead in honesty... and in security.

I am so sorry that I have brought you pain. I am so glad that you are such a strong woman... to risk it all... and put it on the line... and that we can trust God to bring healing to each of us individually and together.

I love you, sister!

And so, my dear bloggy sisters, I challenge you to pray the prayer... ask God to help others forgive you so that THEY can bear fruit. It may not turn out the way you think it should... but being obedient to the Lord is everything...

Be patient, then, brothers,
until the Lord's coming.
See how the farmer waits for the land
to yield its valuable crop
and how patient he is for
the autumn and spring rains.
James 5:7 NIV
Sisters, let us bear much fruit...

3 comments:

kari and kijsa said...

Beautiful post and reminder- thank you, thank you!!

blessings,
kari & kijsa

VINTAGE GIRL AT HEART said...

Wow....you really got me thinking...

BP said...

Wow, thanks for this personal example.