“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22
The Bible defines ‘fruit of the Spirit’ as the traits which characterize the child of God.
This Bible verse is one of my favorites. It is so applicable to my daily life. With so much happening in our country and world right now that makes life unpredictable, these traits are very relevant. Everyone has approached the last 3-4 months in their own way. Some are more worried than others, some are more careful than others. I personally have not had to be concerned about my job (retired), educating or caring for young children at home, or worrying about an elder parent or spouse with health issues. Nevertheless, I have had my difficult days. When those stressful times come, I reread this verse and realize I can change my approach to this new normal.
I have been able to spend quality time with my family and friends by reaching out and touching base with them in some way, even if it is not in person. Spending more one-on-one time with my spouse, enjoying more relaxing time together, and working on all those ‘need to do projects’ together have been rewarding. Kind of like our first years of being married!
Even though we have always cherished family time together, I think that it truly means more to me now. Not being able to have physical contact with our grandchildren for so long has been emotionally trying. What a blessing and joy it was to finally get those warm hugs!
Like an anchor keeps a boat from drifting away, our weekly worship services have helped to keep my prayer life steady. I’m so thankful for the staff and all the work they do to keep our faith community strong and help us navigate these rough waters. Our church community is a positive example of how these fruits of the Spirit are present in all of us. Individual faith activities such as The National Day of Prayer (at home) and the Corona Bible Project were uplifting experiences and beneficial for my well-being. I was blessed to be able to participate and spend quality time reflecting on them.
All of the racial injustices that our country is facing, and has been facing for years, have also taken a toll. I pray that the fruits of patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness overshadow any doubt that I may have in how I might help make another person’s life better with love and caring.
Being a child of God means using these “fruits’ each and every day in whatever manner we can—no matter how small. All of us together can make a difference.
Dear Heavenly Father, help us to be the children you want us to be each day, to take care of each other and see the good in our fellow man, to see the beauty in your creation, and to embrace your love. Amen.
Written by Mary Plageman
Mary Plageman is a member of Sheridan’s Women’s Ministry Team. Mary and her husband, Ron, have been members of Sheridan since 1974. They have been married 48 years (come this August) and have two sons, Nate and Brendan. They also have four wonderful grandchildren, Cora (5yrs), Owen (4yrs), Damon (2yrs) and Vera (15 months).
She retired from teaching first grade in 2011 and now loves to travel, read great books, spend time with the grandkids, enjoy time with family and friends, and wonder how she got everything done before! She and Ron love Sheridan and all the wonderful people who are their special extended family!